Thursday, December 20, 2012

Happy Holidays from the Safe-home Gang!

Over the past year, Touching Tiny Lives has received endless support from people around the world. This support has come in many forms from volunteers and doctors lending their skills and expertise here in Mokhotlong to generous monetary donations that allow us to provide families with food packages and pay our dedicated staff of Basotho.

We wanted to share a little bit about the kids currently staying in the safe-home to show you just what a difference your support means to all of us at TTL.
Reitumetse has now been at the safe-home for about three months. This little girl is so full of giggles and spunk and has us all laughing constantly. She is also extremely smart and always willing to sit down with a book or puzzle. While at TTL, she has recovered remarkably from severe malnutrition, learned to walk, and started a successful regiment of ARVs. We're excited to see what the coming months hold for Reitumetse's continued recovery.

Tsepo is almost three years old. As a result of his malnutrition, he is small for his age but he eagerly works to catch up on his developmental milestones. He has some very funny and sweet mannerisms -he reminds us all of a bit of an old man in a little boy's body.

Nthabeleng was just three days old when she arrived at the TTL safe-home. Sadly, her mother passed away shortly after giving birth to her. The Outreach team brought Nthabeleng to the safe-home to ensure that she remains strong and healthy in her first few months of life. The Outreach team is now working with her family to find a safe, healthy home for her.

Just two days after Nthabeleng, five day old Rapelang joined the safe-home family. Suddenly, we found ourselves with two babies less than a week old! Since all of the bo'me love to snuggle with these little ones, this was no problem at all. Rapelang also lost his mother shortly after birth. The Outreach team is currently working with his family to ensure that his return home is successful. He is now about one month old and doing very well.

Thabo just arrived at the safe-home yesterday. Born in South Africa, Thabo and his mother returned to Lesotho a few days ago. We're still getting to know Thabo's personality, but can already tell this little man will be a much-loved part of the safe-home family.

Prior to coming to the safe-home, Batloung spent several weeks at the Mokhotlong Government Hospital. He was suffering from some severe complications of kwashiorkor, a form of malnutrition that results form a lack of protein in the diet. In the time his little guy has been with us, we've seen much improvement. He's mastered crawling and is well on his way walking.

Happy Holidays from everyone at TTL!

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Food Crisis

Over the past few days, a more-than-welcome rain has fallen over the highlands of Lesotho.

The proceeding weeks have seen too many Basotho looking pleadingly toward the sky praying for the rain their crops so desperately need.

With the rain, relief washed over the people of Lesotho.

And while a few days of rain does not guarantee a fruitful yield, this long-awaited weather pattern has provided a hope that this year's harvest will bring relief to the hundreds of thousand of people experiencing extreme food shortages.

The families of rural Lesotho rely primarily on subsistence farming and the past few years of poor harvests have wrought devastation on the people of Lesotho.

The severity of this devastation - nearly 725,000 people facing famine - caused the Prime Minister to declare a food emergency in August of this year.

We see the effects of this food crisis first-hand in the families we serve.

The number and severity of malnourished children being admitted to the safe-home has increased dramatically, seeming to overtake HIV/AIDS as the primary reason for admittance.

In previous years, Outreach would provide a large bag of maize meal to, maybe, two struggling families a month.

Now, we consistently provide this staple to over fifteen families a month.

Lesotho has put out a mass appeal to the international community for assistance in this emergency.

This appeal has gone largely unanswered, leaving many in Lesotho with no food and no where to turn.

At Touching Tiny Lives, we're continually looking for new ways to address the increasing food insecurity.

But we can play just a small part in addressing the myriad issues that have contributed to this crisis.

However, we will endeavor to combine the passion of our staff, the strength of the children we serve, and the limited resources of the country of Lesotho to provide high-impact care, one child at a time.

A few interesting articles...

The Guardian 
Lesotho: hungry and largely forgotten as donor pledges ring hollow

Alert Net
Lesotho's food crisis: a waiting game

Monday, December 3, 2012

Thank You, Baltimore!

Dear friends, neighbors and family, 

On Thursday, we joined for a few hours in Baltimore for a cause -- to support the work Touching Tiny Lives does on the ground in Lesotho every day. And we did that.

Combined with the online donations of those who couldn't make it out to Portside Tavern, we raised more than $6,000. This money will go directly to programming on the ground in Mokhotlong -- providing food and medicine to poor children in remote villages; staffing the TTL safe-home where the most ill are transformed from malnourished to gregarious youngsters; and funding the mountainous trips TTL makes to consult with remote clinics and check in on pregnant mothers.

This is the immediate impact of your support. It is one that resonates within a larger goal and broader vision.

Today is World AIDS Day, a reminder that the power of the global community to combat HIV/AIDS together is a source of hope for many.

But globally, there remain isolated pockets underserved by this mantra of hope. The mountains of Lesotho, where 1 in 4 are infected, is one of them. 

TTL is filling a void where few other organizations have a foothold as extensive as ours. And we are currently working to expand our mission by creating a new, second base of operations in the Thaba Tseka district, which neighbors Mokhotlong and is equally remote.

You are helping us do this.

A fundraiser, in many ways, is a test of the compassion, generosity and willingness to engage that exists among a community, a network of friends, neighbors and families.

This was the second year we've held this event in Canton, but I am just as profoundly inspired as I was last year by how thoroughly you all hit the ball out of the park. You met the test with flying colors.

TTL is only as strong as its donors, in particular its continuing donors. Our network of supporters is not enormous, but our impact has been. Earlier this year, we reached our 1,000th child.

Some of those children may have lived without TTL's support. Many would not have.

Your ongoing support has literally meant the world to countless children.

Thank you.

Kevin Rector
Touching Tiny Lives Foundation Board of Directors

The safe-home babies wearing red for World AIDS Day.

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Wish for World AIDS Day

HIV/AIDS has been a part of public consciousness for about as long as I’ve been on the planet. Because of this, I was a small child during much of the first decade of chaos and confusion; I was mainly unaware of the mounting deaths and lack of solutions.

Instead, my reality of HIV/AIDS has been yes, one of death and devastation, but also one of progress and promise. I have seen the developments of a greater scientific understanding of the virus, continued progress towards more comprehensive and effective testing and treatment, and hints at the real possibility of an AIDS free generation.

In Lesotho, no one is unaffected by HIV/AIDS. With a 1 in 4 infection rate, it is unfortunately a country partially defined by this epidemic.

During my time in Lesotho I’ve been excited to see all the advancements towards fighting HIV/AIDS. Antiretroviral therapy(ARVs) for adults and children are available at even the most isolated rural clinics. Mother-Baby packs are provided to all pregnant women as part of a comprehensive program to fight against vertical transmission. Basotho communities express an improved understanding and acceptance of HIV/AIDS, acknowledging that it need not be a death sentence.

And at the same time I have been continually frustrated and saddened that red tape, a lack of resources, and waning political commitment mean that solutions we know to be successful at fighting HIV/AIDS are not being implemented effectively in Lesotho, and particularly Mokhotlong.

Clinics run out of ARVs meaning a grandmother may waste four hours walking to and from a clinic, failing to get what she has been taught are critical medications for her child.

HIV+ women still give birth at home because of a lack of other options, despite the known dangers this presents for both mother and baby.

Blood samples to test a child for HIV or assess the stage of the virus in their small bodies – two critical steps in getting started on treatment – are lost or results never make it back to the clinic, causing unnecessary, life threatening delays.

In the news coverage leading up to World AIDS Day, the hope and deflation expressed in this article feels like a perfect reflection of what it’s like working in the field of HIV/AIDS in a resource poor setting. Despite all we know about the virus and everything we can do to prevent its disastrous effects, if it’s not making an impact in the locations where the epidemic is at its worst, it’s simply not enough.

This week TTL lost one of the children being cared for in the safe-home. After three days admitted at hospital for distressed breathing, this little girl passed away. She had been identified as HIV+ in October but confirmatory results from a second test had still not come back so she was not on treatment. It is suspected she contracted a form of pneumonia that targets children with low CD4 counts (a sign of a greatly weakened immune system and the need to start ARVs). Suspected because the hospital does not have the human resources or equipment to say for certain. Despite severe malnourishment and repeated prescriptions for antibiotics it took two visits in one day to convince the hospital they needed to admit her.  Unfortunately, adequate medical attention came too late for her small, weakened body.

In my mind, this little girl’s death – like so many children’s deaths in Lesotho – was not due to negligence but a lack of resources. There are simply not enough trained medical staff, equipment, and treatment options to handle the burden an epidemic like HIV/AIDS places on a health system.

My wish for last year’s World AIDS Day was for an HIV+ child that TTL supports to continue to grow and thrive. I'm happy to say that one year later, she is doing exactly that.

My wish for this year is a bit bigger and of the same importance. It's a wish for true global commitment to produce real results that will end this epidemic. Commitment that reaches up from the grassroots where it is so strong to the highest political offices, ensuring that an AIDS free generation is possible both in rhetoric and on the ground where it counts the most.

Children outside a rondavel belonging to a family currently supported by TTL's Outreach Program.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Keeping Tiny Lives Safe

Bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites…GERMS!  They abound everywhere.
We’ve all had those days of red, running noses, fevers, running
tummies and a general feeling of wanting to sleep the hours away
rather than chance moving even our little finger.  Many of us don’t
give germs too much thought.  They come.  They go.  We move on when
they do.

For the infants and children at TTL, germs can pose a very large risk.
What might result in a day of rest for you and me can result in a
life and death struggle for the little bodies already weakened by
malnutrition and other co-morbid conditions.  In an effort to mitigate
this daily challenge of keeping little lives healthy, TTL is embarking
on designing and implementing a comprehensive infection control
policy.  We are looking at our current practices and determining what
actions promote health, what actions inhibit health and how we can
improve our practices.  We know change takes a lot of time and effort, but smiles on healthy
faces makes all the work worthwhile!


Jennifer Baker, a former Swaziland Peace Corps Volunteer and professional Nurse from the US, is working with TTL over the next month to support us in ensuring TTL is providing the best possible care to the vulnerable children we support.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Faces of Malnutrition

This sweet baby girl has a little smirk that instantly puts a smile on the face of anyone she flashes it at.

Boitathelo came to TTL a few weeks ago suffering from chronic malnutrition.
Malnutrition is generally classified as either chronic or acute...depending on whether the child has experienced a severe lack of food and essential nutrients over a long period of time, perhaps their whole life, or they are suffering from a temporary lack of food and nutrition.
Children suffering from acute malnutrition generally experience what is referred to as "wasting"... or a substantial loss in weight, among other symptoms.
Chronic malnutrition generally leads to "stunting"...  or an overall lack of growth which results in a child who is very small for their age, as well as significantly underweight.
Sweet Boitathelo is fourteen months old...chronic malnutrition has clearly taken its toll.
I know it's hard to tell from the picture above, but she is hardly the size of a nine month old.
She hasn't started walking or even crawling and can only just sit up on her own.
Although she's been with us a few weeks, this little one has been slow to gain any weight.
Yesterday, her breathing became extremely distressed...her little stomach rapidly rose and fell with each little breath.
She was admitted to the hospital where we hope she'll receive the care she needs to overcome the many obstacles she faces.
Through it all, however, that little smirk keeps popping up to let us know there's a lot of fight left in this little one.
Renang, in comparison, was suffering from a more acute case of malnutrition when he arrived at the safe-home several months ago.

Although very skinny, his overall growth had not suffered...he was within the normal height range for his age.

Renang's malnutrition had still taken its toll, however.

At seventeen months he wasn't yet walking...likely because his legs hadn't developed enough muscle-mass to master this skill.

In just a few weeks and many big meals later, this little man was cruising around the playroom.

Renang returned home to his grandmother last week, his chubby cheeks and confident gait a sure sign of his recovery.

TTL will now serve Renang as an outreach client to continue to monitor his growth and health and ensure that those little legs keep running around.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Greetings from the New Fellow!

Hello!  My name is Brad Wilkin and I am the newest fellow here at Touching Tiny Lives.  I am so excited to be here in the beautiful country of Lesotho surrounded by both beautiful scenery and friendly people. 

Many years ago I visited South Africa and Kenya where I volunteered with several different HIV/AIDS related organizations.  During that time, I fell in love with the cultures and was encouraged by the opportunities to learn and simultaneously offer a helping hand.   Needless to say, I’m excited to be back and I am ready for adventure!

Having spent the last couple of years in Denver, Colorado, I was elated to find out that Mokhotlong is surrounded by beautiful peaks.  I have already been impressed with the marvelous vistas during hikes and an outreach journey to a local village.  

I know my fellowship over the course of the next year will be full of grand experiences, awkward moments, and new friendships.  I look forward to sharing some of my experiences with you. 

Brad Wilkin

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Strength in Numbers

Over the past six weeks TTL’s Outreach team has been partnering with thirty-six Village Health Workers (VHWs) to hold site visits in the Libibing area of Mokhotlong district. At site visits, Outreach staff work alongside community-appointed VHWs to assess the health of children from a few specific rural villages. In many cases, these villages never see service providers but rather community members must travel long-distances by foot to reach an under-staffed and under-resourced rural clinic. 

Outreach workers coach VHWs to measure children’s height and middle-upper arm circumference, along with weight, to get a more comprehensive assessment of a child’s nutritional status. Alongside the training session, these site visits present an important opportunity to identify any children who require TTL’s support. Following the site visits VHWs will be able to continue to make referrals to TTL, working as our ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground. 

TTL's Outreach Coordinator teaches Libibing VHWs how to used a MUAC strip at a group training session

The results of these recent site visits have strongly illustrated the challenges Basotho families are currently facing in light of Lesotho’s food crisis. At one single site visit, representing three VHWs' communities, eleven babies were so malnourished that they required TTL’s support.  Luckily, none of these children presented symptoms deemed critical enough to require them to come to the safe-home. Rather, through the Outreach Program’s support, TTL will work to get them back on track while they remain at home with their caregivers.

Yesterday’s site visit was different, one new child has been brought to the safe-home. This baby girl looks only a few months old – smaller than even our small safe-home eight month old babies – but her Bukana says she’s 14 months. There’s not a millimeter of baby fat under all those of layers of clothing, this little one weighs only 5.3­ kg.

Without the Village Health Worker network, TTL may never have learned about this child, or the eleven who have recently joined the Outreach program. Or, we may have heard about them in a few months time when they were much more critical and getting them back on track towards recovery would be an even greater struggle. This is the strength of the Village Health Worker Program. More ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground and earlier identification means more vulnerable babies will receive the assistance they need so they not only survive but can eventually thrive within their own communities.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

World Food Day

Yesterday, people around the globe celebrated World Food Day. This day was an opportunity to bring attention to food issues in countries on every continent. Many of you may have received the below email asking for your support as Lesotho faces an increasing food crisis. If you haven't had a chance, please take a moment to learn how you can help.

Dear Supporter –

When I lift 3-year-old Mamello into my arms, I am struck by the hardness of her little body. Her severe malnutrition is readily apparent. And just like every time I see a child come to the safe-home looking like this—feeling like this—my mind swims with unanswered questions.

But no level of intellectual understanding will ever stop the visceral reaction I feel when seeing a child suffering this way. I will never get used to the feeling of a hard bony chest, arms and legs so thin it seems they might snap at any moment, skin drawn tight across cheekbones, not an ounce of baby fat to be found.

Mamello when she arrive at TTL.

In this small mountain kingdom, this image represents the severe state of malnutrition seen in far too many babies and children. Sadly, this number is likely to increase as Lesotho faces mounting food insecurity.

On August 9th, in a call to the world that Lesotho and its people are in crisis, the Prime Minister of Lesotho declared a state of food emergency. After two seasons of failed harvest, due to destructive floods one year and a severe drought the next, it is estimated that the people of Lesotho will have less than 10 percent of the staple crops they will need to sustain them in the coming year.

In his declaration, the Prime Minister stressed that orphans and vulnerable children, as well as people living with HIV/AIDS, would suffer the most from this crisis. As these are the precise populations that TTL works with, we know that the need for our services will only grow greater in the coming months.

Mamello after a few months of intensive recovery.

We are asking for your assistance to make sure we can meet this pressing need. The children of Lesotho face myriad challenges that TTL works tirelessly to mitigate, and in turn we cannot do this work without your tireless support.


Julie Wheaton
TTLF Fellow

Thursday, October 11, 2012

International Day of the Girl

“This is a day to celebrate the fact that it is girls who will change the world; that the empowerment of girls holds the key to development and security for families, communities and societies worldwide” 
-Desmond Tutu and Ela Bhatt, members of the Elders

The United Nations has declared today, October 11th, the first International Day of the Girl Child. 

For those of you who have spent time around TTL, or may have realised from our website and blog, TTL is a very female friendly place. Over eighty percent of our staff are female (including management) and because of the nature of child rearing in Lesotho, so are the vast majority of the caregivers we work with.

And it turns out, TTL isn’t an oddity. Its female staff are just some of the many across Lesotho who have been able to acquire an education and find employment. Across a number of indicators ranging from access to health services to representation in the government, Lesotho demonstrates strong levels of gender equality. In fact, it has been amongst the top ten countries in the world in terms of gender parity for the last three years running. Its global gender gap rating puts it ahead of the US, Canada, the UK and all of its regional African neighbours. For a country that is so often associated with poverty and stalled development, it’s nice to know that Lesotho is a leader for its neighbours in trying to ensure that girls have as many opportunities as boys while growing up.

The International Day of the Girl Child marks an important chance to recognise the progress Lesotho has made, as well as the challenges it still faces. Unfortunately, HIV/AIDS continues to disproportionately affect girls and women – reflected in higher infections rates as well as the burden of caring for gravely ill family members or the infant children they leave behind. Sexual violence and coercion, traditional beliefs about masculinity, and unequal gender relations all continue to fuel the HIV epidemic.

The devastating consequences HIV/AIDS has had on household structures and the ongoing pressures of poverty combined  with community expectations for women to fill specific domestic roles means that girls may end up leaving school earlier than they should. I can think of a handful of cases from TTL’s recent history where we have stepped in to help a family care for an infant child to alleviate the burden on a teenage girl left to run a household or try to keep a girl in school for a little bit longer following the death of a main caregiver.

But all in all, while there is still progress to be made (as there is in every country in the world), Lesotho’s not such a bad place to be a girl. Each one of these TTL baby girls below will get to grow up in a country where both boys and girls receive free primary school and women can be caregivers, factory workers, village chiefs, Managing Directors of NGOs, or Ministers in the Government. 


Friday, September 21, 2012

The Week in Photos: Spring, Safe-home Arrivals, M&E, and Outreach

A lot happens around TTL in one week. Babies make great strides toward recovery...the Outreach Team brings life-saving care to families in rural villages...and we work to understand how we can continue to meet the needs of the children of Lesotho. I thought I'd share a bit about our week through a few photos.
Reitumetse arrived at the safe-home late last week. Understandably, it takes babies a little time to adjust to the safe-home...being away from home, their mama, and everything they've known is certainly confusing.

Add on top of that feeling pretty sick and tired and Reitumetse's first few days consisted of a lot of watching the other babies crawl around and trying to figure out how exactly this place works.

Spring weather and the chance to enjoy the fresh air makes for some happy babies. 

Although peach blossoms can be pretty memorizing, it turns out the big truck at the construction site across the street is even more so. 

Thankfully, I was able to get Seabonga's big brown eyes to look at me for just a second to get this photo.
Nine month old Tlotlisang arrived last week, as well.

There's something about her that reminds me of a baby bird.

Her little body feels so skinny, bony, and frail, but she's very happy and alert nonetheless.

No matter which direction she's facing, she needs to know what's going on behind her.

Of course, flipping yourself upside down is the easiest way to accomplish that task.

We met this man, the grandfather of one of our former clients, while out in rural village with our monitoring and evaluation team; TTL recently embarked on a massive effort to evaluate the effectiveness of our services and understand client outcomes.

When we approached, this man was perched outside his rondaval slowly weaving blades of grass and thatch into a long, thin rope. 

He continued to expertly weave his rope as he told of his experiences working with TTL and how thankful he is that his grandchild is now healthy.
I love this photo because it illustrates how traveling the rough roads of Lesotho often teetering on the edge of the world...with the sky so close you feel as if you could touch it.

Yes, that's the same little Reitumetse from above. 

Just a few days of good meals and a little bit of time to adjust and we were graced with that beautiful smile.
And of course, nothing brings out those smiles faster than 'dijo' - food - at snack time.

A good tickle brings out the smiles pretty quickly too.

Renang, who has been in the safe-home for about a month, improves each day.

His laugh is something I look forward to hearing each day.
The week concluded with an outreach trip to one of the most remote areas in which we work.

Because these villages are so isolated and hard to reach we seem to have a lot of clients in this area; families often don't seem to have access to the resources and services they need.

Mark, a medical student volunteer, provided some helpful insight into the fact that this little guy's condition - his malnutrition is so severe that his body cannot fight off the persistent cough that has been racking his body for the past few months. We brought him into the safe-home to aid in his recovery.

Monday, September 10, 2012

New Babies, Missing Parents, and Food Insecurity in Lesotho

Abandoned, exposed, malnourished – these are the words our outreach worker Mantja uses to describe the child she has just brought to the safe-home. Her words are succinct partially because of a language barrier but also because sometimes there’s nothing else to say.

It’s 6:30pm and we’re driving through the already dark streets of town so I can drop Mantja off at home after her eleven hour work day. She tells me the mother just left her village while her eight month old daughter, Tlotlisang, was at a neighbours playing with some friends. 

It’s hard to imagine and yet it’s a story that I’ve heard many times since I arrived in Lesotho a little over a year ago.  Mothers and fathers seemingly abandon their children in search of something better outside of the hard life in the villages – most often in hopes of finding some kind of income in South Africa.

This little girl joins another boy who arrived in the safe-home this afternoon.  Probably around 20 months (he has no health records), his mother has also left him to go to South Africa. His swollen legs and feet are signs of his severe malnourishment and protein deficiency. Tomorrow he will go to the hospital to be examined and tested for HIV exposure. But for tonight he’s eaten his whole dinner and is quick to crack a smile - the best signs we can hope for in a child’s first night in the safe-home.

This afternoon I also heard about a call Outreach received about a mother and baby who require TTL’s help. The mother and child are both critically ill and need to come to the hospital. M’e Nthabeleng sarcastically jokes that their treating TTL like an ambulance service. They should really be calling the hospital but everyone knows TTL can get there much faster and so tomorrow the Outreach team will go.  

Today was a day of celebration in the safe-home, three babies were being reunited with their families. And somehow just as quickly three new babies have come to replace them.

A month ago as we planned out the reunification schedule for the safe-home it seemed like we were soon going to be left with only a few little ones. I thought back to when I arrived last August and, after a busy July, there were only four babies in the playroom. I thought maybe this was a cycle the safe-home went through. But this year, I guess that won’t be the case.

Lesotho recently declared a national food security emergency. Another recent statistic identifies Lesotho as one of only four countries in the world where nearly 100 percent of the population is projected to remain food insecure for the next ten years. As always, it will be the most vulnerable – those living with HIV, orphans, and children under-five – who will suffer the most.

It’s a constant struggle to eke out any kind of livelihood in Lesotho – particularly in the highland districts. It makes me grateful that TTL’s Outreach workers – and all its staff – are willing to put in the extra hours to ensure each child receives the support it needs and help families through what can at times feel like an endless period of struggle against food insecurity and HIV/AIDS in this beautiful mountain kingdom. 

I originally wrote this post last Monday but after a busier than normal week am just finding the time to post it now. The third child who needed to come to the hospital with her mother is now in the safe-home. While she has not started to show signs of improvement as quickly as Tlotlisang and Seabonga, we are all hoping that this week will be better than the last.  

Seabonga - one of the safe-home's newest arrivals. Despite his poor health, he is always quick to crack a smile and laugh. His grin reminds me of Tsepang (below) a little boy who spent some time in the safe-home a few months back to recover from TB and malnutrition. Here's hoping Seabonga's recovery will be just as quick.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Go Irish!

UPDATE: It has come to our attention that there are some issues with the original email address we provided.  If you're interested in football tickets, please email Reid at  We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your support of TTLF!
We have some very exciting news for all you Notre Dame fans out there!  The Touching Tiny Lives Foundation has tickets available to several Notre Dame football games this season!  Tickets are available for purchase, with all proceeds going directly the Touching Tiny Lives Foundation.

The following tickets are available:

Notre Dame v. Brigham Young: 4 tickets (2 in the faculty section between the 10 and 20 yard line; and 2 in section 112) 

Notre Dame v. Pitt: 6 tickets (2 in the faculty section between the 10 and 20 yard line; and 4 together in section 130) 

Notre Dame v. Wake Forest: 6 tickets (2 in the faculty section between the 10 and 20 yard line; and 4 together in section 112)

Notre Dame v. Stanford: 4 tickets (4 in the faculty section)

All of the tickets have a face value of $73 (except Stanford, which have face value of $83) and the suggested minimum contribution for the tickets is $100 per ticket, but anything more will be gratefully received. If you are interested in scoring some great tickets and helping a worthy cause at the same time, please email Reid  at and he will reserve the tickets for you. First come, first serve, with near simultaneous inquiries going to the high bidder.  Tickets can be mailed to you or a pick-up can be arranged in South Bend.

Go Irish!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Meet Moronegoe and Morongoenyane

Meet Moronegoe and Morongoenyane, our newest additions at the safe-home.

These twins sisters come to us due to severe malnutrition.

When we met them on an outreach trip, I think our hearts all dropped when their mother told us they were almost 7 months old; their tiny limbs and skinny bodies looked hardly more than a month or two.

Their condition is a strong illustration of the compounded difficulties of living in one of the most remote, mountainous areas of Mokhotlong and trying to feed twins when food security issues run so rampant.

They've now been with us in the safe-home for five days. These five days have given us time to develop a greater understanding of their needs and each day we see progress.

Although it will likely be a few weeks before we see the trademark chubby cheeks of a baby recovering from malnutrition, we're already looking forward to the day they will be healthy enough to return home.
Mom gets Morongoenyane ready to be weighed.
Matello, a member of the Outreach team, measures Morongoe.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Baby Faces

1 year
7 months
18 months
6 months
Hope everyone's week is off to a great start!

The safe-home continues to be busy with babies growing strong and healthy! Right now, we have ten little ones - we just brought in another set of twins on Friday, Morongoe and Morongoenyane, who we'll write more about shortly.  The Outreach team continues to be busy visiting clients throughout the surrounding mountains, making sure all our clients are recovering from the massive snowstorm we experienced a few weeks ago.

Thanks for stopping by the TTL blog and checking in on the happenings here.  As always, we appreciate the continued dedication of all of those who support TTL!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Last Chance to Win a Week in FL!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who have shown your support during our "No Mountain Too High Campaign!" Your commitment to the children of Lesotho is inspiring!

Just a quick reminder that today is your last chance to donate and be entered into our raffle to win a week in beautiful Anna Maria Island, Florida! Every $50 donation receives one entry into the raffle. The lucky winner will be announced on August 21st!

To donate, visit the Touching Tiny Lives Foundation website. Check out this previous blog post to learn more about the raffle and the beautiful beach house prize!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dear Toyota...

One more week to be entered into our raffle to win a week in Florida!  Learn more here and here!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Go Lesotho!

With the Olympics in full swing, I wanted to take a minute to recognize the athletes of Lesotho who will be participating in these Olympics Games.

True, the Olympics really aren't related to the work we do at TTL, but I love any excuse to celebrate this small nation I've come to love.

And you never know...maybe one day in the future one of our babies will be competing in the Olympics!

The story of Lesotho's Olympic athletes provides a unique illustration of the struggles and strengths of the Basotho people.

Lesotho has a small...only five athletes...but proud Olympic team.

The video below highlights Olympic marathoner, Tsepo Ramonene.

Like many other Olympic commercials, this clip strikes that magical, motivating note.

But the story that accompanies it - the trials of this young man who runs no matter the day - transforms this video into something so much more powerful.

Tsepo runs to support his family...his parents and siblings.  

He drinks tea and eats bread during training and before races...all that he can afford.

And when asked about what he would do with more money, he states that he only wishes to attend high school...his family could not afford to send him when he was younger.

Tsepo's story is an interesting contrast with Michael Phelp's 10,000 calorie/day diet and training regiment, to say the least.

Despite these challenges, Tsepo is an Olympic athlete.

He will run at the Olympics...he will tell the world about this mountain kingdom...and he will inspire all the children who live here to keep running.


More about the Lesotho Olympic team at The Guardian.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Week in Florida?!

In the weeks since we began our "No Mountain Too High" campaign, we've received a tremendous outpouring of support. Each day when I walk into the safe-home and am greeted by smiling, laughing babies, my heart feels a little fuller and I know this would not be possible without so many around the world who are as dedicated to TTLF's mission as we are.

As an added incentive to support TTLF, donating now enters you into a raffle to win a week in sunny Florida!  A family of long-time supporters has generously donated a week's stay in their beautiful beach home on Anna Maria Island.
Who wouldn't want a week of relaxing on such a beautiful beach?! Anna Maria Island is encircled  by miles of white, prisitne beaches. It's conveniently located just one hour from the Tampa airport, two hours from the Orlando airport, and just a half an hour from the Sarasota airport. The home sleeps up to eight people, has a full kitchen, three full bathroom, and a heated pool. It's also located within steps of the beach and fun beach-side restaurants.

Each $50 donation will result in one chance to win a week’s stay at this relaxing destination. The more you donate, the more entries you receive! The exact week can be coordinated with the owner to fit your schedule. Donate online or by check and you’ll automatically be entered! Those who have already generous donated to the campaign will be entered retroactively. The winner will be drawn on August 15th! 

Want a bonus entry into the raffle? Share our "No Mountain Too High" video on Facebook and you'll receive one entry into the beach house raffle! Make sure to link back to Touching Tiny Lives Foundation on Facebook so we know about your post.

If you have any questions about the raffle or the "No Mountain Too High" campaign, send us an email at