Bento, Mozambique

One of our projects in Mozambique supports members of the Association for People Affected by Leprosy (ALEMO) to raise their profile in the community, to educate people about leprosy and promote inclusion. ALEMO group members are also supported in developing livelihoods and greater food security.

Bento is the ALEMO group leader for his village. His father had leprosy and Bento was born in a leprosy community. When he was diagnosed with leprosy at the age of 22, he was worried for his future because he had seen how his father suffered with the disease.

Joining the group brought new opportunities for him, and he is enthusiastic about the benefits of working collectively. They have a farm where they grow maize and fruit, some of which they sell. As group leader, Bento makes the decisions about their daily activities.

Bento is thankful not to have experienced stigma due to being affected by leprosy. Attitudes in his community have changed and the members of the ALEMO group are not shunned as they would have been in years gone by. Now that people understand that leprosy can be cured, they are less fearful of those it affects and his group is well-respected in the village.

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