Calling on Philanthropic Foundations for World Leprosy Day 2022
Leprosy is a disease that has affected humans for thousands of years. Today the disease is curable and we understand that it is caused simply by the spreading of harmful bacteria. Despite this, too many people consider the disease to be a curse or divine punishment; myths like these surround leprosy in communities worldwide. Sadly, many persons affected by leprosy still face terrible, isolating stigma and discrimination.
The History of the Sasakawa Foundation Global Appeal
Each year, the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, The Nippon Foundation, and Sasakawa Health Foundation organise an annual Global Appeal to 'End Stigma and Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leprosy'.
This appeal has been run every year since 2006 and coincides with World Leprosy Day (the last Sunday in January). In the years since it was first launched, the Global Appeal has been supported by an impressive list of individuals and organisations. This includes the 14th Dalai Lama, former US President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu; major human rights organisations such as Amnesty International and Save the Children; the International Paralympic Committee; heads of over 100 leading universities; and top executives from companies including Toyota, Virgin Management, Tata Group, Johnson & Johnson, Renault, and Novartis.
The call for the Global Appeal 2022
This year, the Sasakawa Health Foundation are asking for the world's philanthropic foundations to join the call for an end to the marginalisation of persons who have experienced leprosy and the realisation of a just and equitable society that respects the human dignity and fundamental freedoms of all its members.
In 2022, the endorsement of this message will be presented on World Leprosy Day (30 January).