"I am so glad that I made that phone call to the TB Voices Project. It has totally changed the part that my TB experience played in my life. I no longer feel the stigma that I associated with my TB experience. It had always been a part of my life from which I tried to disassociate myself. It was so ingrained in me to not speak of it, to forget it, and go on with my life. But now, I can embrace it and complete that part of my life. Thank you, again." Jeannette, TB Voices Project participant
These are the words of Jeannette, a TB Voices participant in Washington state. Jeannette was confined to a TB sanatorium in Seattle from the time she was 6 years of age until she was 10. That was 67 years ago and never, even to those most close to her, had she spoken of her experience. The TB Voices Project, managed by TB Photovoice, gave her the platform and assistance to tell her truth.
During the last year, we have been honored to hear stories like Jeannette's and over 25 other persons who have been impacted by TB in Washington State. Through the TB Voices Project, we have created a new TB Voices Project website ; produced a 13-minute inspiring and educational video ; created a traveling TB Voices exhibition; and reached out to the local community to increase TB knowledge and compassion for those impacted by TB. You can also find weekly conversations on our TB Voices Project Facebook page .
Until the end of 2014, we will be presenting the successes of our TB Voices Project at conferences across the country, including Atlanta and Washington, DC. We will be sharing how to replicate this project, scaling it based upon the resources available in a given community, and encourage TB health care workers and policy makers to continue to support and provide resources for innovative projects that allow the true voices of persons impacted by TB to rise to the top.
We encourage you to continue to support TB Photovoice. It takes financial resources to conduct the level of outreach we are committed to accomplishing throughout the country.
If all of our GlobalGiving donors reached out today with a donation of $10, our TB Voices exhibition transportation costs would be covered for the summer months and we could free up our time to connect and share more TB stories.
Thank you for considering to take these expenses off our plate!
Thank you for your support and encouragement!
Dear TB Photovoice Family,
We are so close! We are burning the midnight oil to bring the TB stories of over 25 people in the Puget Sound area to the public. Our video is ready to go, and we are putting the finishing touches on our TBVoicesProject.com website. A community exhibition featuring the messages and insights from our participants is being created and will be unveiled in mid-March.
A quote that continues to come to my mind that speaks to the importance of supporting persons impacted by TB, and confronting the TB stigma, is from Fatxi, a resident of Seattle.
In 2004, despite risk of infection, Fatxi, a young mother living in Kenya, took care of a family member who had TB. Everyone else in the family had abandoned her due to fear and the stigma of TB. Because of Fatxi's determination to support and care for this woman and despite being abandoned by the majority of her family, the woman was cured and regained her strength after a nine-month TB treatment. Fatxi believes education about TB and compassion are the keys to getting rid of the TB stigma.
In Fatxi's words:
If somebody is sick with TB and they know that other people despise or dislike them just because they are sick, they will be stressed. They will be depressed and the situation they have is going to be worse and worse.
One thing I really don’t understand is why people don't support others who are sick? We are all human beings, we are family, we are friends, we are community, we are neighbors. We need to support one another.
As we prepare to share the TB Voices Project with local, national, and global communities, we are mindful of how much time, energy, resources and passion go into the creation of a successful project. We are thankful for your support that allows us to continue amplifying the messages of our participants.
We will begin our countdown to the March 24 World TB Day starting on March 3. Please take some time to visit our TB Voices Project Facebook page to hear about our featured stories, events, and inspiring messages.
Here we come!
TB Photovoice Director
We have had the honor of hearing and documenting the stories of 26 people who have been impacted by TB in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. These stories inspire us to elevate their perspectives to the local and global community so that they are truly heard and understood.
Loc, an immigrant from Vietnam, shared his insight in the hopes that those people who are newly diagnosed with TB will not live in fear.
"At the time I heard I had TB, oh, I was very scared because my wife was pregnant and we have a 18 month old daughter. I didn’t want to spread my TB to my family and other people at work and school. But I learned that TB is not a disease you cannot cure, this one you can cure. Don’t be afraid. TB is not the end of your life. It is very, very easy now if you keep discipline with the medication and then you live your life with a healthy life, your health will be very strong. Don’t waste your time. Don't wait for treatment."
The TB Voices Project is providing a way for persons impacted by TB to tell their story. These realities are rarely heard and often disregarded, resulting in communities lacking the basic understanding of TB, which can lead to stigma, misdiagnosis and misinformation. In early 2014, we will be launching a website devoted exclusively to the TB Voices Project, as well as developing videos and exhibitions. For now, like our TB Voices Project Facebook page and read updates!
Our group in Kenya is closer to securing resources to move their project forward. Check out our Facebook page for updates.
It has always been the mission to TB Photovoice to bring the voices of people impacted by TB to a wider audience so that their perspectives are honored and action is taken to address their needs. Thank you for supporting us throughout the years and for helping our small but passionate organization do the work we truly believe in by your financial donation.
All the best to you in 2014!
TB Photovoice Project Director