The SER (Socio-Economic Rehabilitation) Education Program aims to support 100 students (from primary school through to college) with scholarships to contribute to school fees, uniforms and supplies. Students are either directly affected or the dependents of people affected by leprosy or disability. The Education Program team also provides counselling sessions to parents in students in order to encourage girls to stay in school and receive an education.
The children who receive scholarships come from 13 districts in the province of Bagmati.
Children or people affected by leprosy are excluded from career development and normal community participation because of a lack of education or personal, social and economic issues that arise from stigmatising attitudes and marginalisation. Those most affected lack the knowledge and abilities needed to find a way out of their situation.
Although education is free in Government schools, parents affected by leprosy or with physical disabilities do not always have the financial means to meet other education associated costs such as school fees, uniforms and supplies. The effects of leprosy can limit children from the ability to access education due to costs and stigma, however this kind of scholarship encourages them to pursue their dreams and have a more secure future.
What are we doing?
The SER Education Program works towards ensuring an education for children who are either affected by leprosy, have a physical disability or are dependent on leprosy affected parents.
This program provides scholarship support to children living in poverty as a result of disease or disability to secure a better life and hopeful future. The support is equivalent to approximately AU$120 per student which contributes to school fees, uniforms and supplies. Without this scholarship support, many of these students would have stopped advancing their education level.
As a result of this project, children have had the opportunity to complete their studies from primary school through to college, resulting in recipients also graduating with university degrees and securing jobs.
Children are provided with support based on recommendations provided by Self-Help Groups (SHGs), Cooperative members, local government and schools where students are studying.
The Education Program team also helps socialise teachers and schools to disability accessibility and creating a stigma-free learning environment.Give To This Project
The Leprosy Mission in NepalLeprosy remains a significant health problem in Nepal—a population where the majority of people are subsistence farmers. The leprosy-prevalence rate is 2.6 cases per 10,000 population (WHO, 2013), well above the World Health Organisation elimination target. Poverty, the stigma of leprosy, and poor access to healthcare all contribute to the high rate of leprosy.
The Leprosy Mission Australia has been working in partnership with the Nepali government since 1957, providing specialist leprosy care at Anandaban Hospital, which is also a centre for extensive leprosy research and treatment development.
In partnership with Leprosy Mission Nepal and Nepal Leprosy Fellowship (NLF), The Leprosy Mission Australia works in community empowerment, development, disability awareness and rehabilitation, and socio-economic rehabilitation in the Central Development and Eastern Development Regions of Nepal.
The Leprosy Mission Nepal is responding to the COVID-19 crisis by distributing sanitisers, masks and disinfectant soap to communities where The Leprosy Mission is present.
They are also raising community awareness through local radio stations.