Your Gifts of Love make a massive difference in the lives of people affected by leprosy. Gifts of Love allow you to support smaller parts of a project as well as other vital activities of that project. There are currently 22 different Gifts of Love that you can help fund, one of which is a Pair of Chickens. The dollar value listed for each gift is an estimation of how much this part of the project costs.
When funding has already exceeded the need, Gifts of Love aren’t always able to be used exactly as represented. Your donation will help fund a similar Gift of Love instead. It’s also important that people affected by leprosy are able to choose how they benefit from your projects. Not every person can or wants to be a chicken farmer, for example. And in flood-prone areas, it’s safer for the chickens if we substitute a different animal. Chickens are at risk of drowning in those areas, whereas ducks will float and swim instead. So it makes sense to hear from everyone’s perspectives, draw upon existing skills and circumstances, and have them help determine what would be a responsible use of your Gift of Love.
A toilet for everyone, everywhere
One incredibly powerful Gift of Love is Toilet Construction. Sanitation is essential to eradicating extreme poverty and many public health problems. Sanitation is critical for preventing many disease outbreaks including diarrhoea, intestinal worms, schistosomiasis and trachoma. These diseases affect millions of people. Preventable diarrhoeal diseases kill 1000 children a day . It’s essential that everyone’s waste be contained, transported, treated and disposed of in a safe and sustainable way. The global target for sanitation is that everyone, everywhere has access to basic toilets by 2030 .
In your RECLAIM Project, your Toilet Construction Gifts of Love are helping to do this. One of the Disabled Persons Organisations you support helps to install toilets. The group has sought out and established strong ties with local government bodies, including the Ministry for Women and Children. Their work has been so effective that politicians request them to assist with community social work and development.
Thanks to your support, half the members of this group now have a private and accessible toilet. The group helps identify other candidates for toilets and assists with the construction. You’ve helped establish 47 toilets in 47 different Nepali communities. The Disabled Persons Organisation will be ultimately responsible for ensuring that every household in government-designated zones has a private latrine by the end of the programme—ending the problems caused by defaecating outside and addressing the many poverty and public health problems that it fosters.
Be encouraged. Your projects in Nigeria, Nepal, India and Timor Leste are helping to address this global sanitation crisis. But there is still a long way to go. Due to population growth, open defaecation is increasing in some regions.
One Self-Care Group member from the Better Health for Communities affected by Leprosy Project reported:
We still need The Leprosy Mission Timor Leste to help our groups be strong for the future. Please increase the savings by adding more funding. Help us with toilets for each family… Help us to lobby for our needs with the leaders and within our community.”
World Toilet Day is on 19 November. It’s an opportunity to take action on this global sanitation crisis. You can start the conversation about the importance of sanitation in low- and middle-income countries with your friends and family. You can also observe the day and show you value sanitation by giving a Toilet Construction Gift of Love.