Give Hope This Christmas
You may have heard that “everyone else is getting one too” and been left with the impression that life just won’t be the same without it.
I doubt there are many children in Scotland desperate to get more schoolwork in their stockings or a new uniform under the tree.
But for young people affected by leprosy, or with a disability, education is the most precious gift they could ever receive.
Young people affected by leprosy often can’t finish their education. Stigma in the community might see them being expelled for no other reason than their leprosy. Disability might prevent them from being able to complete their schoolwork. If their parents are affected, they might simply be too poor to afford it.
Young people like 15 year old Kanchan (above left).
The deformity in her hands meant that she was struggling to write and to keep up in school. But she was determined to do all she could to finish school and get a good job.
But, even though she is cured of leprosy, her classmates turned against her. They didn’t want her around, they wouldn’t work with her or involve her in anything that was going on.
Worse still, her teachers wouldn’t teach her, just because she has had leprosy, and she was made to leave the school.
When I met Kanchan she was quiet and withdrawn. She said she hoped to be able to go to a different school, but I’m not sure if she really believed it.
Archana (above right) walks with a stick because of her disability. She attended a special school for children with disabilities and this year joined our training centre to study for a qualification in tailoring.
She hopes that with a good qualification she will be able to find a good job that she can do despite her disability.
Education is the best hope for a secure future for young people affected by leprosy or disability.
Many have already suffered more than enough for a lifetime, please give them hope for a better future with a gift this Christmas.
In this case, their life really won’t be the same without it.
God bless you this Christmas
Along with your gift you can send a Christmas greeting to the young people studying this year. You can let them know that you care about them and their future. Complete the greeting box during the giving process.