During the Middle Ages Germany, like most other countries in Europe, had many leprosaria in which people suffering from leprosy were encouraged – sometimes compelled – to live and be cared for. Medieval pictures and writings describe the leprosy inspection each Easter in the city of Nürnberg, where people from the four leprosaria around the city were not only examined by a doctor but also showered with gifts – no doubt a very different experience from the hardness of daily life marginalised from society.
TLM Germany started as a local circle of friends around Dr and Mrs Gottfried Riedel. The Riedels, who worked for TLM from 1951 to 1997 mainly in India and Bhutan, were pioneers in the fight against leprosy. Their hope was to bring all people God’s love and make His kingdom visible. Several members of TLM Germany’s executive committee – all of whom are volunteers from different parishes – have also worked in leprosy at some point in their lives. Volunteers maintain contact with regular donors, organise special fundraising events, and are invited to various groups and communities in order to report on the projects they support in Niger, India and Chad.
TLM Germany is chaired by Dr Johannes Schäfer. It contributes around £60,000 per year to TLM’s programmes.