Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any questions that are not covered in this FAQ list, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1800-LEPROSY (1800 537 767)
Q: How much money is spent on administration?
A: We aim to spend less than 10% on administration. We are constantly updating our processes and procedures to be more efficient.
Q: How much of my donation goes to the field?
A: Our aim is to provide 70 cents in the dollar to support our project work.
Q: How much of my shopping is going towards helping people affected by leprosy?
A: Just by purchasing through The Leprosy Mission Gift Catalogue you are already helping people affected by leprosy as proceeds of the sale of all the items of goods in the catalogue (once cost of goods and expenses have been paid for) go towards funding Leprosy Mission overseas projects.
As well as this, some products have been directly produced by people affected by leprosy therefore the cost of the goods has also been paid to these suppliers.
In the last financial year, we purchased $87,745 worth of handmade products from communities affected by leprosy, disability and/or poverty.
• 40% of the goods sold will directly go to the artisanal or group, to provide them with a dignified income, or will go to the product supplier.
• 37.2% goes to making an impact in our current projects
• 22.8% is to support our administrative costs
By purchasing a Safe Water Saves Lives product the proceeds of your purchase go directly to safe water (WASH – Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) projects in the countries TLMA supports.
Buying a Gift of Love, or a general donation is the most cost-effective way of supporting people affected by leprosy through the gift catalogue.
Q: How much of my Gift of Love goes to the cause and how much to administration?
A: When you buy a Gift of Love through The Leprosy Mission Australia, 70% of the purchase price is allocated towards the project this item is a part of and 30% is to support administrative costs.
Q: What is the Gift Card that comes with the Gifts of Love?
A: When you buy a Gift of Love through The Leprosy Mission Australia, you will receive a gift card for the item donated. You can keep it as a memento or pass on to someone else to show that you have given it on their behalf. The cards do not mention the price of your gift.
Q: Can my donation go to a specific country or specific person mentioned in an appeal or in a brochure or presentation?
A: Your gift can be specifically directed to a country where the community decides the best action to take to help particular people there. The person mentioned is already receiving appropriate treatment, thanks to supporters like you.
Q: Can my donation go to a specific thing eg. medicine?
A: Your gift can go directly towards a project where these items are required as part of the delivery of the program.
Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT) medication is currently supplied free by pharmaceutical company Novartis but to get this medicine to the people who need it and support them through their full course, particularly those in remote or difficult to access areas provides the challenge. That’s where we help.
If this part of the project is already sufficiently funded, the excess will go where most needed.
Q: I can’t give the exact amount I’ve been asked for – is it okay if I give a lesser amount? How are these amounts calculated?
A: Amounts are calculated specific to each appeal and can be used as a guide or suggestion. Of course we are extremely grateful for any amount you are moved to give. Every dollar counts.
Q: Can I send in bandages (or other knitted goods)?
A: We no longer accept bandages (or knitted goods) due to the administration costs associated.
However, we can provide you with addresses for you to send bandages direct to the country of your choice ie. Ethiopia, Nepal, Niger or Papua New Guinea. The full address list can be found here: https://www.leprosymission.org.au/get-involved/send-knitted-bandages/
Q: Can I send in glasses or hearing/mobility aids?
A: To keep administration costs down we do not accept any medical items but resource and empower people with leprosy and disability through funding our local partners in the countries where they live.
Q: Do you preach and try and convert people with leprosy and disability?
A: The Leprosy Mission is a faith-based organisation, whose work and actions are underpinned by a biblical basis. As such, we seek to live out our Christian beliefs through our compassion and care; seeking to offer health, healing and spiritual wholeness to people with leprosy and disability irrespective of race, culture, gender, age, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, birth or other status.
While some Christian activities like pastoral care and counselling are provided as an integral part of being a faith based organisation, we agree to the guidelines set by the Australian government’s department for international development (DFAT — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) that their funds are not to be used for activities designed to convert people from one religious faith or denomination to another, or from one political persuasion to another and are not to be used to build up church, ecclesiastical or political structure.
Q: Does leprosy still exist? I thought it was eradicated.
A: Leprosy still exists. In fact, every two minutes, one person in the world is diagnosed. Some countries claim leprosy has been “eliminated” but this just means the number of cases reported and recorded by their government is under 1 case per every 10,000 people (0.01%). Elimination is not eradication.
This information also relies on cases being reported and recorded accurately. There is evidence to suggestion in India, for example, that there are “millions” of cases “missing” from the official statistics because these people have not been found or treated or recorded.
Q: Is leprosy contagious?
A: Yes. Leprosy is mildly contagious. But within 24 -48 hours of starting Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT) the patient is no longer infectious and cannot pass the disease on to others.
The Leprosy Mission often also conducts “contract tracing” activities to find the patient’s family members, friends, colleagues who may have been exposed to leprosy, testing them for leprosy and possibly providing then with an anti-leprosy medication (rifampicin) which may help prevent infection.
Q: How do you catch leprosy?
A: It is thought that leprosy is caught through close direct and prolonged contact with a person infected with leprosy. Most likely through the water droplets of the nose, eyes and mouth (via coughing and sneezing). We are still investigating. That’s why The Leprosy Mission is investing in and conducting research – so we can stop this disease at the cause and make leprosy a thing of the past.
Q: How many people still have leprosy in the world?
A: There are millions of people across the world still living with the effects of leprosy, however, there are only two kinds of leprosy patients currently officially reported:
a) Number of registered cases – ie. those undertaking Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT) treatment for leprosy in that year (circled below in red)
b) Number of new cases diagnosed in that year (circled below in green)
According the 2018 statistics released by The Word Health Organisation (WHO):
Q: How many people have leprosy in Australia and in the countries The Leprosy Mission Australia supports?
A. In Australia and in the countries The Leprosy Mission Australia supports: