Harvest Appeal: Help people like Vavi to thrive | The Leprosy Mission

Leprosy is enough of an issue on its own. Even though there is a cure, the disease robs people of family, jobs, and dignity.

But the effects of leprosy are also made worse by poverty and poor nutrition. Without good food, people are more vulnerable to catching leprosy, and their bodies are less able to make a good recovery.

For people in Sri Lanka living with the effects of the country's economic crisis, this can mean becoming trapped in a cycle of poor health, struggling to earn a living.

People like Vavi, who was trying to make ends meet while living with the effects of leprosy and trying to support her family.

This harvest season, you can play a part in breaking that cycle. And in a country where many families like Vavi's can barely afford to eat once a day, your support will also help them lift themselves out of poverty.


Harvest Appeal: Equip people like Vavi to thrive 

I would like to make a:

The following amount:

A gift of £30 provides 20 coconut trees. Your support will equip a person affected by leprosy to plant and grow coconuts, which can be eaten or sold to provide an income.

£86 provides a family with the plants, seeds and tools they need to  start a small-scale home garden, where they can grow their own food. While they get their garden started, they are given food supplies for at least four months.

£200 will enable 100 families to learn about nutrition and how to grow good food.

Together, we can help more families like Vavi's thrive.

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Vavi's story

Vavi lives in a remote village in the north of Sri Lanka. In the past, she was an active member of her community, and, working as a labourer, she earned enough money to provide for her children. But everything changed when she was diagnosed with leprosy at the age of 32.

In rural areas, many people like Vavi get their water from a communal well. But when Vavi’s neighbours discovered she had leprosy, their fear of the disease was so great that they stopped her from using it. Vavi’s friends turned on her. It became difficult for her to find water for drinking and cooking, and it was even hard to keep clean.

Vavi was also mistreated at work. Although she was taking the cure for leprosy, she was still struggling with the side effects of the disease. Her employers were unhappy that this was preventing her from working as quickly as she had done before. Before long, she lost her job. She felt desperate – would leprosy stop her from ever working again? What would happen to her children if she couldn’t provide for them?

The Leprosy Mission's partner in Sri Lanka, Kaveri Kala Manram (KKM), works with people like Vavi to help them heal from leprosy and live life to the full again. A vital part of KKM’s work is making sure that families affected by leprosy have enough nutritious food to eat and the opportunity to grow enough fruit and vegetables to sell, providing a good income.

The KKM team heard about Vavi and reached out to provide support to her family. Now, Vavi has a well of her own, so she and her children have easy access to clean water. She has also been provided with the plants to help her grow coconut trees and vegetables, as well as training to get the most out of her garden.

Today, Vavi feels more independent than ever, and will have a sustainable income for many years to come. But there are many more people like her, trapped in a cycle of leprosy and poverty. Your support today can help change that.