Despite being preventable Leprosy is alive and well in parts of India. Sadly, victims of this disease are shunned and cast out of society. CompassionWay is supporting ministries that are extending the love of Christ to these precious ones in real and tangible ways.
The Grand Experiment
After serving for years in the leprosy colonies Covenant Family Church decided on a bold move; to accept older primary and secondary students from the leprosy colonies into their the Child Development Center, which welcomes students from all backgrounds. This drew an immediate reaction as several parents pulled their children from the center, but most of the students soon returned and the children from the leprosy colonies slowly gained acceptance. Now attitudes toward residents of the leprosy colonies are changing in the community at large thanks to this step of faith.
From Beggar . . .
. . .To Business Owner
Because German missionaries started a ministry to victims of leprosy near Purula almost 150 years ago this area continues to host the highest concentration of lepers in Asia, with seven active leper colonies. In 1998 Covenant Family Church re-ignited the vision of those early missionaries through a campaign to improve conditions and provide a better future for those in the seven leper colonies in and around Purulia, West Bengal. Their efforts have grown to include:
- Providing and updating infrastructure such as wells and bathrooms
- Providing regular visits by a social worker
- Holding periodic health clinics that provide a safety net for those who neglect seeking help.
- Establishing an informal (no government sponsorship) primary school and paying teachers
- Providing equipment, materials, tools, and supplies to enable colony residents to be gainfully employed, including:
- Envisioning and assisting entrepeneurs to start new businesses.
- Advocating for inclusion and acceptance of leprosy colony residents in a society that has shunned them for centuries.
Begging - The Leper's 'Occupation'
The vast majority of leprosy colony residents in India get up every morning to fan out and beg in bus terminals, railway stations, & crowded bazaars. The culture offers them few other options. As in biblical times victims of leprosy are completely ostracized from normal society. But with your help we are changing the culture by funding and training entrepreneurs for financial independence. A donation of $200 would provide a sewing machine or help provide a bicycle rickshaw or vendor cart. A gift of $100 provides a set of wood-working tools or funds a vocational training class for one month. Please join with us to end the cycle of begging in the leprosy colonies.