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Villages are important places for people to have community and a sense of belonging.  Unfortunately, due to misinformation and a lack of understanding, patients with leprosy are marginalised, feared and discriminated against, even by the health workers who are suppose to be treating them.  As a result, people are afraid to come forward for testing and even when diagnosed, they continue to have difficulty accessing appropriate medical treatment due to fearful health workers reluctant to help them.  This can then result in permanent disabilities that could have been avoided.

Partnering with Yayasan NLR Indonesia, The Leprosy Mission Australia works in 20 villages across Kuningan district, in rural Indonesia, to create leprosy friendly villages.  Working closely with the local government and influential community members/groups, the project aims to increase knowledge of leprosy to combat misinformation amongst health workers and the community.  The project encourages health workers and influential community members to become involved in leprosy diagnosis and support people to access medical services in their villages.

Desaku means ‘My village’ in Bahasa (Indonesian language).  The project aims for communities to take ownership and see their leprosy friendly village as ‘my village’.

If villages can learn to cultivate a supportive community, free of discrimination and fear of leprosy, people will have confidence to come forward for diagnosis and treatment, knowing that they will continue to be accepted in their communities.  This is when the true numbers of leprosy will be revealed and reduction in transmission and permanent disability can begin.

This project commenced in July 2022.





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Please note: Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Due to added security measures, donations below $10 can no longer be processed online. To make a gift $9 or less, please call us on 1800 LEPROSY (1800 537 767). 


If the area of need becomes fully funded, your gift will go where most needed.



Supported by the Australian Government

The Leprosy Friendly Village (Desaku) Project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). Thanks to ANCP, this project is able to help improve the well-being of people affected by leprosy and disability in Indonesia.