Your Christmas Gift Will Be Doubled!
(This fundraising campaign is now closed)
As we approach what will certainly be a Christmas like no other I want to ask for your help once again to help defeat leprosy. And this Christmas anything you give will be doubled to go even further to help people like Kajari.
Kajari first got leprosy symptoms when she was 10 years old, but it wasn’t diagnosed for over 30 years!
Because of severe ulcers and absorption, she has very short stubs instead of fingers and badly deformed feet.
She still gets ulcers, particularly on her feet and travels 180 miles to DBLM Hospital at Nilphamari for treatment.
This Christmas you can help people like Kajari in Bangladesh.
This year a small group of generous supporters have agreed to double your gift pound-for-pound. For every pound you give, they will give the same, up to a total of £14,000.
Your Christmas gift will be doubled to give Kajari all the help she needs to live safely and with dignity despite everything that leprosy has done to her.
Kajari grew up in a colony for sweepers. Her family and neighbours are some of the poorest people in their community, none of them have had much education and do their best to make a living sweeping or cleaning for others.
Kajari’s leprosy wasn’t diagnosed for 30 years, your gift this Christmas will help spot and treat leprosy much earlier, no matter where someone is from.
I costs just £24 to spot and treat someone with leprosy
Kajari is now about nearly 60 and still lives in the sweepers colony at Kushtia. Her younger brother lives nearby. The rest of her family have died or moved away to find work sweeping in Dhaka.
She can’t cook because of the extent of the damage to her hands and relies on her brother and sister-in-law to feed her.
She still has scars from the very first leprosy patches she had as a girl. Over time she has seen her hands and feet get worse and worse.
Early every morning you will see her walking slowly, taking small, careful steps towards the school. It takes her 45 minutes to go the half mile to get there. She sweeps the floors for about an hour before making her way carefully home.
She earns a little money sweeping the floors at the school and receives a small disability payment from the government. In total about £15 per month!
Will you give a special gift this Christmas to help treat all the Kajaris across Bangladesh? Your gift will provide medical care to treat the disease, and physiotherapy and community support to treat its effects.
Will you help spot the next 10-year-old Kajaris, to stop them from facing a lifetime of disability and disfigurement? Your gift could train community health workers to identify the early signs of leprosy.
For a while Kajari struggled to trust that the staff at the hospital really wanted to help her – why would anyone want to help someone like her?
Now she sees it as a place of safety and care.
But sometimes life with the effects of leprosy is still a massive struggle.
“Sometimes I feel it’s better to go away. If God takes me away, that is good”
She is safe and gets help when she needs it, but a lifetime of leprosy has taken so much from her.
“I wanted to have a family. And a better job. But I lost hope of that ever happening when I lost my fingers”
I know that you share my desire to make leprosy a thing of the past.
This Christmas, thanks to a small group of generous supporters, whatever you give will go further than ever to help make that happen.
Thank you for your love and support for people affected by leprosy.
Thank you for remembering them at Christmas.
Your gift will help to eradicate leprosy, one person at a time. One person like Kajari.
I pray you have a Happy Christmas when it comes, whatever it looks like this year.
God bless you.
photos: Tom Bradley