While on a mission in India he came across a group of people sitting in isolation under a tree - they had been banished from their village because of their leprosy. He was deeply touched by what he saw and returned home determined to make a difference. Shortly afterwards, the Leprosy Mission was born.
In the early days of the Mission the focus was on treating the medical consequences of the disease. But in the early 1990s it became increasingly apparent that leprosy is as much a social disease as a medical one, and that the 'cure' needed to extend far beyond the initial treatment and address the poverty, stigma and discrimination that too often accompany the disease.
Although detection, diagnosis and treatment are still fundamental to our mission, our programmes and services have evolved over time to address both the causes and consequences of the disease. Today our work is diverse and includes community development, sustainable livelihoods, education and vocational training, advocacy, and emergency response and preparedness.
'The Mission has been born and cradled in prayer. It has been brought up on prayer; it has been nourished on prayer; and prayer has been at the bottom of its success since the first moments of its life.' Wellesley Bailey, Founder of the Leprosy Mission
For more information visit the international website: www.leprosymission.org
ENAPAL are our project partners in Ethiopia. They are a grassroots membership organisation whose membership consists of leprosy-affected people in Local Associations, who create income generating initiatives and advocate for the rights of leprosy-affected people. One of our largest projects with ENAPAL is the grain mill in Addis Ababa and various income generating activities that it has enabled; we are currently developing a second grain mill in Ambo, where another of ENAPAL's Local Associations is based. To read about the grain mills project, click here.
For more information, visit http://www.enapal.org/
Our partners HANDA Rehabilitation & Welfare Association are a grassroots organisation who work in isolated leprosy-affected villages in the South of China. Through medical support, rehabilitation and social work, they improve the health and wellbeing of village residents and help to integrate them into mainstream society, reducing stigma through advocacy and community involvement.
In Bougainville we work through the Bougainville Healthy Communities Programme (BHCP) whom we support through partnership with the Autonomous Bougainville Government's (ABG's) Division of Health. The BHCP has been operating since 2006 developing a sustainable village owned and run community health programme. BHCP staff provide training and on-going support to Village Health Volunteers (VHVs) who work for their village and are responsible for providing public health education, identifying major illnesses and diseases, referring villagers to government health facilities at District level and supporting villagers if needed on visits to health facilities. Improved health is already being seen in communities where BHCP operates.
The projects we support in India are run by the Leprosy Mission Trust India. For many years we have helped fund the good work at Muzaffarpur Hospital, and more recently have started also supporting Miraj, Shahdara, Vadathorasalur, Kothara and Dayapuram Hospitals. We have supported the Vocational Training Centre in Faizabad for many years, and we are also involved in two community development projects; the Empowerment of Village Women in Rural Uttar Pradesh, and Empowering Communities to Address their Own Issues in Andhra Pradesh.
For more information, visit http://www.tlmindia.org
Our key commitment to the Leprosy Mission Nepal is our support of the Anandaban Hospital in Kathmandu. In 2011 we helped fund a new laundry facility for the Hospital, and the consequent increase in efficiency and hygiene will significantly benefit patient wellbeing.
For more information, visit http://www.tlmnepal.org/
Our partners the Leprosy Mission International Bangladesh run two projects that we have a lasting involvement in. These are in Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts, where Leprosy Mission supported self help groups improve the health outcomes of leprosy-affected and disabled people and empower them to become self-reliant and productive members of their community, economically and socially.
For more information, visit http://www.tlmbangladesh.org/
IDEA is an international advocacy organisation for people affected by leprosy. Several of our partners in the field are members and we have supported IDEA advocacy projects in the past.
For more information, visit http://www.idealeprosydignity.org/
The Council for International Development is an umbrella organisation for NZ agencies involved in international development towards the eradication of poverty. Leprosy Mission New Zealand is a member of CID.
For more information, visit http://www.cid.org.nz/
Leprosy Mission New Zealand is a member of Micah Challenge, a global campaign to mobilise Christians against poverty. The campaign aims to deepen Christian engagement with impoverished and marginalised communities, and to influence leaders of rich and poor nations to fulfil their promise to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) initiated by the United Nations.