You can give children like Akifah
This is a letter from a staff member of The Leprosy Mission Nigeria which we feel we must share with you.
“I was in Nigeria and it was a scorching hot day. I was grateful for the shade as the nurse and I entered the leprosy hospital building. My eyes had to adjust to the dim light of the wards as shutters kept the heat of the sun at bay. We began walking through the men’s ward and then into the women’s, but I was surprised to see a little girl sitting on one of the beds. At first I thought she was with her mother, the patient, but then I realised I was wrong. It was the other way around. This little girl – just 10 years old – was being treated for leprosy. There is something so horribly shocking about a child with leprosy. Akifah’s little body had already been attacked by leprosy and her hands were stiff and clawed. Her hands are unusable – she cannot throw a ball, hold a pencil or even hold her Mum’s hand; all things children naturally do. Her feet were also damaged and I noticed later that she drags her foot as she walks. She cannot run around with her friends and she can no longer dance, something she loved to do in the past. Leprosy is cruel and heartless. It takes no account of the age of its victim, and it attacks even the youngest, most innocent child.” My friend goes on to say: “Akifah has had the freedom to be a child stolen from her by leprosy. As I went back to the hotel that night I felt desperately sad for little Akifah and her family. Leprosy attacked her when she was very young, and has also struck her little brother and her Mum.
Akifah’s Dad divorced her Mum because she had leprosy so Akifah has been left fatherless. Akifah isn’t a rare case of a child being struck by leprosy – there are thousands. Today, as you read this, somewhere in the world other little children will be told that they have leprosy. They will ask what leprosy is; they will see the tears in their mothers’ eyes and they will feel afraid.
When I have met a child who has leprosy, or who is being treated for the damage it has already done, I have felt the sharp pain of grief. Because really, every one of these precious children around the world who have leprosy belong to me and belong to you.
Why is this horrific disease still attacking innocent children? Why, when their young lives are already so hard, are they the victims?
It is so desperately unfair and unjust! Isn’t it enough that they live in the desperation of poverty? But this is what drives us…
Having read this letter, please ACT NOW!
Easter is a time when we can lay claim to hope. Not just for ourselves, but for children around the world who once loved to dance – freely, exuberantly, effortlessly, and with abandon!
You can help mend small hands and feet, help cure little ones of leprosy, and help them dance again.
Please give hope this Easter – to that little girl or little boy who will be told they have leprosy today.
They don’t want chocolate, or toys. They just want to be able to dance again. Your gift can transform the life of a child like Akifah. It will be so precious.
A little girl like Akifah, will thank you more than words can express for their gift of hope this Easter.
Be assured that your gifts will be used to help children suffering from leprosy, and its effects.
Thank you for reading this letter. Thank you for understanding the need.
And thank you for caring.
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