It was 18 years ago when Antonio was diagnosed and treated for leprosy. But treatment came too late to save him from permanent disability. He and his wife struggled to feed and educate their 7 children.
Petronella’s first signs of leprosy were the patches on her skin. Like so many others, she could have tried to hide her condition. She could have ended up with deformities and disabilities, even needing amputations. As a mother of seven children, this would not just affect her own life but all her children.
Nelson is the project coordinator for the Community Based Rehabilitation project in Timor Leste. This is a project that you support. We recently caught up with Nelson to talk to him about your project, how he got there and what inspires him in his work. Nelson will be coming to Australia for the National Conference later this year. You can talk to Nelson about your project at various events in October.
Antonio lives on an island due north of Timor Leste’s capital city. It’s harsh and hot on At’Auro Island. A giant rock protruding from the sea, At’Auro is an unshielded receptacle for heat. The sole of my boat shoes even melted off on the boat ride there—the extreme heat and water too much for its glue. The hot climate makes farming incredibly difficult. Something that Antonio knows all too well…
Domingos and his son Delvio Da Silva are pictured above in front of their new toilet. They are members of the Raitaho Self Help Group, in Timor Leste. The group formed when two other Self Help Groups merged last year. They meet once a month and have 17 members.