The Leprosy Mission
TRBC supports The Leprosy Mission by having a speaker on Leprosy Sunday, usually the last Sunday in January and also having an envelope collection on that day. We have a box for collecting old stamps and coins, which we then send to the Leprosy Mission. We also have a stall in November selling Leprosy Mission Christmas cards.
The ‘Mission to Lepers’ was born in 1874 by Wellesley Bailey and his wife Alice. Their aim was following Jesus Christ, The Leprosy Mission strives to break the chains of leprosy, empowering people to attain healing, dignity and life in all its fullness.
Their mission is for Leprosy Defeated and Lives Transformed.
What is Leprosy?
Leprosy is a mildly infectious disease associated with poverty. It is easily cured. Leprosy starts by damaging the small nerves on the skin’s surface resulting in a
loss of sensation. Without the gift of pain, everyday activities are fraught with danger. Unnoticed burns and ulcers can lead to permanent disability. Due to the inability to detect grit in the eye, blindness is a common consequence of leprosy.
Leprosy is one of the world’s most stigmatised diseases. It seems inconceivable that people affected by a mildly-infectious disease can become so marginalised from society. But leprosy sees entire families having their job, education and marriage prospects destroyed as a result of age-long stigma and misunderstandings surrounding the disease. A myth still prevalent in the world today is that leprosy is a curse for something you have done wrong - either recently or in a past life. We work to break down stigma and empower people affected by leprosy to stand up for their rights.
They have their own hospitals and treatment centre’s but that’s not all they do.
Where they work
They concentrate their efforts on 11 countries in Asia and Africa. The needs of individuals and communities affected by leprosy vary significantly between the nations in which we work.
They work closely with staff in these Asian and African countries to provide and evaluate a range of different projects. The projects help transform the lives of leprosy-affected people as well as working towards eradicating the causes of the disease.
Health, rehabilitation & disability care
Tragically, even after treatment, leprosy may have already permanently damaged the nerves. As they no longer feel pain, a person is then at risk of injuring their hands and feet while completing daily tasks such as walking and cooking. They train people in self-care techniques that help minimise the risk of injury, and promote the setting up of self-care groups in leprosy-affected communities. Group members inspect each other for injuries and encourage one another to treat their wounds as well as sharing emotional support.
Housing, Water and sanitation
Many people affected by leprosy live in basic shelters with inadequate sanitation because of poverty and discrimination. Often they live as part of a leprosy-affected community set up when people with leprosy were shunned by friends and neighbours. They have provided thousands of leprosy-affected families with improved housing and sanitation.
Education, training and livelihoods
Every year they enable children and young people from leprosy-affected families to go to school and on to further education and training. One of the projects they fund is Iphiro Yohoolo, in Cabo Delgado, the north-easterly province of Mozambique. Iphiro Yohoolo means 'Road to the Future' and its purpose is to get children affected by leprosy and disability into school and encourage them to achieve their full potential.
So as you see it’s not just a matter of taking the medicine and all will be well. Their whole lives are disrupted forever.
In the last magazine’s I have received from the leprosy mission I learnt of micro-credit loans made to help start business so suffers can support themselves. Of new homes being built and families given funding to help them with farms. Simple things like sandals to help protect damaged feet.
You can find out more information on their website or asking them to send regular updates.
Here is a short video on the work of The Leprosy Mission.