Will You Give Her Hope For The Future?

Donate HereThis moment will define her future. Your kindness will ensure she can live with pride, dignity and hope.

In a few days, the schools will break up for the summer holidays. For pupils who have just sat their exams, the next looming date in their diary is Results Day on August 8th.

Do you remember the fear and excitement that came in that brown envelope? An envelope that felt like it would define your whole life.

Have you had children or grandchildren who you’ve supported through that same moment in their lives? Did they have a dream for their future? Did they get the results and the future they were hoping for? Did you? Or did you have to find a new plan for the future?

For young people like Nagajothi there is no plan for the future. It doesn’t matter how she was doing at school or what her hopes are because when she was 14 she was diagnosed with leprosy.

For many young people in India, leprosy stops their dreams in their tracks. It stops them from achieving their potential. They have similar dreams when they leave school as everyone waiting for their results just now or to those you and I had. To become a doctor or learn a trade. To meet someone. But for them, so often, leprosy stands in the way, like an immovable mountain.

People are so afraid of the disease that it stops young people like Nagajothi from getting a job. Employers are scared, and so are teachers. If you have leprosy, you can be prevented from studying and thrown out of school. Companies are afraid that you will curse their business. There doesn’t seem to be much hope for the future does there.

This year I’ll be returning to that results day feeling, though my son’s results will come in a text and an email rather than that brown envelope. At his school the focus goes beyond just the results though. The priority is that every pupil can have a positive destination after school. Whether that’s university or college, an apprenticeship or a job, everyone has a positive destination that’s right for them.

Today, you can give young people like Nagajothi a positive destination.

You can help Nagajothi and others like her build a future by providing them with training at a Leprosy Mission Vocational Training Centre.

Not only that, but employers will be educated about leprosy, and graduate jobs will be created. This means students have a stepping stone into employment, helping them to break out of poverty.

When you give a gift today, you will be helping people like Nagajothi to learn a trade. What’s more, you will help them to get a job and be successful. What a precious gift!

Your kindness means everything to young people like Nagajothi. The chance to make something of yourself and your family proud is such a powerful gift. Will you provide the helping hand that they need to find their positive destination?

Nagajothi was just 14 when she first noticed leprosy symptoms. The swelling on her face and the discoloured patches on her hands were the tell-tale signs. She thought her life was over, her hopes for the future fading like the patches on her skin. Nagajothi remembers so vividly the change in behaviour of those around her. Her neighbours kept their distance. Her family members stayed away.

Can you imagine how she felt? Rejected at a time when she needed someone to stand with her most?

I am reminded of the story of the good Samaritan and that question of the Pharisee who asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour” (Luke 10:29 NIV). The answer is that anyone we come across is our neighbour. Nagajothi, and others who live with leprosy, they are our neighbours too. Yours and mine. When others turn away in fear, we have the chance to stand together – and like Jesus, to show mercy. Compassion. Love.

Thankfully, you are always there for people affected by leprosy. You don’t walk on by. You believe every young person living with the effects of leprosy deserves a chance.

Will you help ensure leprosy doesn’t rob young people of their futures? Please give a gift today to help to provide people affected by leprosy with a skilled education at a Leprosy Mission Vocational Training Centre. Your kindness will help young people like Nagajothi begin their future now.

Nagajothi’s neighbours turned their back on her and keep their distance. Young people affected by leprosy, like her, want a true neighbour. They crave for a neighbour to show them kindness. A neighbour like you!

Today, you can be that neighbour for a young person affected by leprosy.

It costs £266.65 to train a student like Nagajothi on her chosen course – to become an electrician. This includes all the training, materials and full lodging.

It costs £2,348 to train a whole class of 20 students to become mechanics.

And it costs £128.06 to train a person affected by leprosy in sewing and tailoring.

Will you give a gift to help provide training to a young person at a Vocational Training Centre? Through your love, you can help people affected by leprosy build the tomorrow of their dreams.

Will you join me today? Together, let’s make sure every young person affected by leprosy has a chance to build a future. Let’s not walk by; instead, let’s choose to show love. Let’s provide a positive destination.

Thank you and God bless you.

(Photographs © Sabrina Dangol)

My Gift To Help Young People Like Nagajothi

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24th Jun 2023

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Opinions are the authors own and not necessarily those of The Leprosy Mission Scotland.