How we help

  • How we help

Our work is broad and far-reaching. The combination of a disease that has a severely debilitating effect on the body and the stigma surrounding it means a unique and holistic approach is required to care for a person’s needs. We focus on the physical, social, spiritual and psychological needs of a leprosy-affected person and our steadfast support means thousands of people globally have seen their lives transformed over a number of decades.

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. We 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.
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Housing, water & 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. We have provided thousands of leprosy-affected families with improved housing and sanitation. 
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Education, training & livelihoods

Every year we enable children and young people from leprosy-affected families to go to school and on to further education and training. One of the projects we 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.
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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.
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Wendy Craig talks about some of the many ways in which we help people affected by leprosy.