Mulu Harissa is a 66-year-old farmer. Her husband left her with their three children when he found out Mulu was diagnosed with leprosy.
She first went to a local doctor who prescribed herbs and holy water as her treatment. Her leprosy was not cured. Then, she was advised to seek professional medical support, so she left her home village and moved to Ambo, a town in central Ethiopia, to receive her leprosy multidrug therapy.
Mulu remarried after she completed her treatment and had another three children. Still, her life was very difficult. Even though she had been cured of the active disease, as a consequence of not getting the right leprosy treatment from the start, she became disabled. Her husband, meanwhile, was suffering from elephantiasis and eye problems. So they were not able to find jobs and became beggars.
However, with support from The Leprosy Mission, Mulu’s life has been completely transformed. TLM works in partnership with ENAPAL, the Ethiopian National Association of People Affected by Leprosy. ENAPAL’s Grain Mills Project enables people affected by leprosy, like Mulu, to support themselves by milling grains like wheat, barley, pepper and teff, which is used by the wider community for everyday meals.
The project impacted Mulu and her family in a great way. They were provided with a house with a water pipe connected, which meant they could then live in a safe shelter and have access to clean water. Their children could go to school, which meant they wouldn’t be missing out on education and could have a chance of escaping poverty and improving their future prospects. And Mulu received vocational training and was able to make handicrafts. As a result, she could set up her own small business and support her family by living a self-sustainable life.
"I am very grateful!" she says. With the generous support of donors, we can reach out to more people like Mulu and give them a future.