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Joshua Sivanganam, director of The Leprosy Mission’s partner organisation Kaveri Kala Manram, visits Kulendran’s village and explains the impact of leprosy on children in Sri Lanka.

Give the gift of hope to a child this Christmas

Kulendran is just ten years old. His life should be happy and carefree, full of hopes and dreams. But this year, Kulendran’s life changed forever.

Kulendran lives in a small village in Sri Lanka. A few months ago, Leprosy Mission community health workers visited his village. They delivered the devastating news that Kulendran had leprosy.

Kulendran’s parents were distraught, wondering what it would mean for them. They were afraid that the stigma of leprosy would see them outcast by friends and neighbours, that people would no longer want to visit their home or buy the vegetables that they grow to make a living.

Kulendran was scared for his future. It’s his dream to do well at school and when he’s older, get a job as a teacher. But worries about disability and discrimination filled his mind.

I was so frightened. One of my hands had started to lose feeling and I was worried that I would not be able to write or pick things up. I know that some people treat people with leprosy very badly and that scares me.

A Christmas gift of hope

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We all have hopes for Christmas. This year, all Kulendran and other children like him want is hope for their future. Hope and reassurance that despite having leprosy, they will be able to live life to the full. A disease curable with a simple course of medication, leprosy should not be a life sentence.

This Christmas, give a child affected by leprosy the gift they need to bring hope and happiness back into their lives.

Children like Kulendran desperately need our prayers this Christmas. Give a gift of hope today and you will also have the chance to send a personal message to a child affected by leprosy – something that will mean so much (page will need to link through to separate donation page).

The Leprosy Mission in Sri Lanka