This Christmas you can make sure that children like Akifah get the help they desperately need.

Akifah is only 10 years old and is being treated for leprosy. Her little body has already been attacked by the disease and her hands are stiff, clawed and unusable – she cannot throw a ball, hold a pencil or even hold her Mum’s hand. Her feet are also damaged and she drags her foot when she walks. 

Akifah has been cured of leprosy, but she is frightened. She desperately needs an operation to fix her clawed fingers. Akifah has had the freedom to be a child stolen from her, by leprosy.

Unfortunately, Akifah isn’t the only child living with the effects of leprosy – there are thousands. Today, somewhere in the world other little children will be told that they have leprosy.

This Christmas you can help children like Akifah get the care they need. A gift of £24, £60, or whatever you can afford will make sure we can help as many children as possible. They don’t want chocolate, or toys. They just want to be able to dance again. Your special gift can transform the life of a child like Akifah.  

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The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and restores those who are crushed in spirit

A child like Akifah will thank you more than words can express for their special Christmas gift.

Thoughts from Zoë Bunter, Head of Mission Development at The Leprosy Mission England and Wales, who visited Nigeria and met Akifah in May 2017.

"When I have met a child who has leprosy, or who is being treated for the damage it has already done, I have felt the sharp pain of grief. Because really, every one of these precious children around the world who have leprosy belong to me and belong to you. If we are family in Christ, then Akifah is my daughter and yours too.

Sitting in my room, after feelings of sadness, came anger. Why is this horrific disease still attacking innocent children? Why, when their young lives are already so hard, are they the victims? It is so desperately unfair and unjust! Isn’t it too much that they live in the desperation of poverty?

But this is what drives us; you, me and Leprosy Mission people around the world; to cry out to God for them, and to act.”