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Celebrating Leprosy Champions

Patana does woodwork in his workshop
© Daniel Christiansz

Leprosy Champions

Suresh and Mangala pose together in front of a tree covered in red flowers
Suresh and Mangala, leprosy champions and husband and wife

Because of leprosy, Suresh and Mangala both faced enormous challenges before they met each other. Now they are happily married, parents to three beautiful children, and they use their work to transform the lives of persons affected by leprosy in India.

Shudeepta smiles at the camera
Shudeepta, taking control of her own life

Both Shudeepta and her sister are now working in the garment industry, where they have been able to earn a good income thanks to TLM training

Thresia, who overcame self-stigma to pursue her dreams

Because of a leprosy diagnosis, Thresia experienced self-stigma and feared being teased at school. Now, she's back studying and ready to pursue her dreams.

Sudha holds her infant grandson and gives him a kiss on the cheek
Sudha Rani, a fearful and fierce grandmother

Sudha experienced a lot of fear when she was diagnosed with leprosy, but she persevered and is now living a life of happiness.

Kavinas with smiles at the camera with his younger brother, Hariskram
Kavinas, a determined and successful student

Kavinas has faced big barriers to his education since he was diagnosed with leprosy, but he has persisted and still led the way in his class

Joaquina leans over a fence, smiling at the camera
Joaquina, an entrepreneurial farmer

Joaquina went from living on the margins to providing jobs for her community.

Hawa sits outside her home with the goods she is selling
Hawa, a determined and cheerful saleswoman

Hawa regained her confidence after years of disability and discrimination and now runs a successful business outside her home.

Nuhu sits in a chair, smiling and holding his fists up in celebration at completing a walk with his new prosthetic leg
Nuhu, a committed father of eight

Nuhu was ready to sacrifice his own health for his family. Thankfully, he didn't have to.

Tharshika, fighting leprosy in Sri Lanka

Tharshika was diagnosed with leprosy as a child. Now an adult, Tharshika supports children affected by leprosy through her work with our partner in Sri Lanka, KKM.

Manpati is a member of one of our self-help groups
Manpati, election candidate and tailor

Manpati has a hand in a few local businesses and recently ran for local office.

Armando stands in front of fields in his farm
Armando, an innovative farm owner

Armando uses the latest training and farming methods to develop crops even in difficult environments

U Soe Win with Aung San Suu Kyi
U Soe Win, speaking to world leaders

U Soe Win went from the misery of feeling trapped in his home to speaking to leaders on the world stage at the United Nations' Disability Rights Conference in December 2020.