Zimbabwean Teen Expresses Life with HIV through Art

Tich's artwork

Painting by CRS beneficiary Tich, from Zimbabwe. Photo by Jim Stipe/CRS

After wrapping up Catholic Relief Services’ Continuum of Care Forum in Washington D.C. yesterday, most participants are headed to their homes all over the world. Three of the attendees have a little more work to do, though. At the forum, the audience heard from three people who have benefitted from life-saving HIV treatment and support services, and CRS wants our supporters to hear their inspiring stories, too. Today Christine, Danny, both from Zambia, and Tich of Zimbabwe are working with the CRS video team to record special messages for you.

Tich (pronounced “Teach”) has a wisdom beyond his 19 years. Then again, he had to grow up fast. Tich began getting sick at the age of 11, at first diagnosed with meningitis, then with tuberculosis. He remembers going to a clinic to receive different tests, and the doctor asked to speak with his mother alone. After that, he began taking medicine, but his mother never told him why. When he learned that his medicines were commonly used for HIV, he went to a clinic alone to be tested. He did not let the positive result discourage him. Tich has chosen to channel his talents into helping other young people living with HIV.

“I tell them, ‘Yes, we have HIV, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a future, that doesn’t mean we can’t go somewhere else and make good decisions in our lives.’ “

One way of expressing his feelings is through painting and drawing, a skill he lends to his work with children and young people. “I help them create their own books about their lives, and they write everything and do all of the illustrations. It is good for them to process their feelings in this way.”

Tich brought several pieces of artwork to share in his message to you, the supporters who make possible the programs that changed his future. One, he said, particularly illustrates his life. It shows a man breaking free of chains that have bound him. Be on the lookout for the final video around Thanksgiving.

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3 Responses to “Zimbabwean Teen Expresses Life with HIV through Art”

  1. Lovemore Dumba Says:

    When I first met Tich and his art, I took a picture of the same art that you published today after I heard about what it means. Today I am confident that it expose Tich and make him go great heights.

  2. Yeukai Says:

    Tich’s work is inspirational and he will surely excell in all his endevours.

  3. Oasis Says:

    The story about Tich is very inspiratiopnal to young people and adults as well, it takes away the sad side of living with HIV, and focuses on the positives which is great especially coming from a young person.

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