Kit Blog

Disability Champions – thanks to you!

16 May 2019 | Author: The Leprosy Mission Australia

The Partnerships, Advocacy Research and Training (PARTI) project in India that you support has helped build the self-esteem and advocacy skills of people affected by leprosy and disability in Tamil Nadu — thank you!

Your support has truly transformed lives.

April Holmes, International Programs Officer, was privileged to recently meet a group of people who were part of this project recently and she’d love to share their stories with you…

“The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever” —Isaiah 32:17

Amali had very low self-esteem before she took part in the PARTI project. She stayed inside her home the majority of the time. She didn’t want to face other people because of her significant physical disability. But now, she says “I am confident!” Because when she became a member of a Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO) set up by the project, the group started a shop and now she manages it!

She happily reports she is “engaging with people” and has “confidence that I can be a productive member of my family.”

Ramya told us that her group delivered a petition to the government to install ramps at the local hospital for disability access, and to install street lights in the village to make it safer to walk home at night. The government was so impressed they installed the street lights immediately!

Ramya says other community members “used to exclude us, but now they want to join with us, and they ask us to raise their issues with the government too.”

Muthu Krishna oversees a collection of seven self-help groups in which 150 people participate.

He successfully advocated to the local government for 700 public toilets and is working on ensuring they are disability-accessible.

Recently he asked the district leprosy office for footwear for the people affected by leprosy in his village. The very next day they sent out 30 pairs of shoes!

When any of the group suspects someone may have leprosy, Muthu Krishna also refers them to the local Leprosy Mission hospital.

Sylvie said “We all have lots of relatives, but none felt like we had worth.” Now, through the training and empowerment the PARTI project provided, “We are decision-makers in our families”. Thank you for your support.

Praise God for the marvellous outcomes of the PARTI Project, may He continue to bless the group members as they enrich the lives of their families and communities.

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