From the 11th century onwards, around 20,000 leprosy homes were built in Europe. Sometimes these were called lazar-houses, after the Order of St Lazarus (San Lazaro, in Spanish) which was established during the Crusades. Lazar-houses were established in Spain from as early as the 9th century, and larger numbers were founded from around 1250 onwards. Most have long closed and decayed, but when there was a resurgence in leprosy in the early 1900s, a new leprosy hospital was built near Alicante by the organisation Fontilles, which continues to work in Spain and overseas.
TLM has been involved in a small way in Spain since the 1970s and currently operates through a group of committed volunteers based mainly in the capital, Madrid. TLM receives support from individual donors and churches – primarily from the Protestant/Evangelical tradition – and has also raised funds through the sale of various items such as books and T-shirts. They focus their revenue on TLM’s work in Nigeria, particularly in projects with an emphasis on prevention of disability and provision of medical supplies. The team hopes to find nurses and doctors willing to go to work in any project in Nigeria during their holidays.
TLM Spain is chaired by Jose Manuel Carballo. It contributes around £8,000 per year to TLM programmes in Nigeria.