Friday, August 23, 2013

How environmental sustainability projects promote TTL's long-term sustainability

Solar water heaters and new gutters for roof water catchment
New Gutters directing water to tank 1

Over the past couple of years, the Town of Gummersbach, Germany (and more specifically die Aktionsgruppe Gummersbach der Welthungerhilfe /Initiative für Kinder in Lesotho) has helped Touching Tiny Lives (TTL) become more “green.” They have supported several environmentally friendly sustainability projects, including a solar electric system for the safe-home, three solar water heaters (geysers), and recently a roof water catchment and storage system.

The new roof water catchment and storage system was finished this week and is comprised of gutters on two buildings directing water to two 5000 liter (about 1300 gallons) storage tanks. The water captured from the roof will be used to wash TTL vehicles and water TTL’s expansive vegetable garden and plants. Not only do the gutters help direct the water to the storage tanks, but they also have the added benefit of preventing soil erosion around the buildings’ foundations. 

Why are “green” or environmentally friendly projects so important to TTL?   
  • The first, and perhaps most obvious reason, is that TTL is being a responsible local organization by using less of the Lesotho’s limited resources. 
  • The second reason is these projects promote TTL’s long term financial sustainability and ultimately help save baby’s lives.   This is a bold statement, but here is the bottom line: by reducing overhead costs such as water, heat, and electricity, the more TTL can spend directly on resources to save the lives of beautiful Basotho babies.

'M'e Mamosa, Outreach staff

TTL takes pride in how donor money is utilized and the creative ways we save and earn money. Double sided printing, selling vegetables from our garden, using food from our garden in the safe home, and having guest housing available for rent are all ways to put money towards where it belongs: on resources that save children’s lives - like medical supplies, food, and caregiver education.

We appreciate Gummersbach for helping with our “green” projects – because we know, ultimately, the savings realized goes directly towards saving lives, one child at a time.  Vielen Dank to Gummersbach!

Gutters directing water to tank 1

Ntate Tumisang, Gardener 

Bring on the Rain!   

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Check Out This Video and the Work You Make Possible

Touching Tiny Lives and Touching Tiny Lives Foundation would not be where we are today if it wasn’t for your generous support.  We, along with the children and families of Lesotho, thank you.  We hope you enjoy this montage of happy faces that you helped to create!  Rea leboha!

Thank you! from TTLF on Vimeo.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Healthcare and Human Rights

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Constitution:  “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being…”.  Yet here in Lesotho, and other developing regions of the world, this right is infringed upon almost daily, both directly and indirectly.  Treatment decisions are frequently based on prudent use of limited supplies, rather than the best interest of the patient.  Health clinics in the rural areas are few and far between and provide only very basic services.  Hospitals are found only in district capitals and, especially here in the Eastern Highlands where TTL is based, are a multi-day journey for many.  For those fortunate enough to reach a hospital in a timely manner, treatment is further delayed by long queues or indirectly denied secondary to resource allocation, damaged or missing equipment and / or poor staff to patient ratios.  Destitution and sickness, a deadly combination; a literal dead-end.

Here at TTL, we witness the inadequacies of this fractured healthcare system on a regular basis.  We work tirelessly to advocate for the infants and children in our care, to give a voice to those silenced by poverty.  We advocate, one child at a time.  Yet, far too often we encounter premature deaths:  death from pneumonia because there is only one working oxygen tank at the hospital, death from dehydration because of lack of intravenous access supplies, death from an internal injury due to time and distance; each incident a rebuke that falls on deaf ears.  Until equality in healthcare is a global priority, stupid deaths will occur all over the world. 

They believe that access to healthcare is a basic human right, do you?