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Our program to care for those affected by leprosy supports a highly vulnerable and ostracised group of people in China.  
The number of newly detected cases of leprosy in China is ranked as one of the highest in the world. Societal beliefs have shaped a powerful social stigma against people with leprosy and they have been forced to move away to ‘leprosy villages.’ But leprosy is not as contagious as it was once believed to be. In fact, it can be easily and successfully treated, especially if diagnosed early. Your generosity is supporting our local partner organisation, Ricci Social Services Foundation (RSSF), to care for people affected by leprosy in China. RSSF has missioned seven religious Sisters to live on-site at two government leprosy centres, so they can be there to take care of daily health, spiritual and social needs.  The centres are located in rural mountainous areas and most of the people living there are farmers who do not have families to take care of them. As a result of untreated leprosy, they suffer from chronic ailments or disabilities that prevent them from being able to work. These include blindness, deformities or loss of their limbs, chronic external ulceration, loss of mobility, skin diseases, and lung diseases. It makes it near impossible for these people to care for themselves or earn any income to survive.  Your support is helping to fund round-the-clock care for people affected by leprosy. The Sisters are providing regular personal treatment, such as ulcer care, for those who cannot look after themselves. Every day, the Sisters visit people to monitor their situation, talk with them for much-needed companionship, clean their room to keep hygiene levels safe, and deliver the nutritious food people need to regain their full health.   You are also helping the Sisters to provide extended care beyond immediate physical needs, such as ongoing support of personal finances while they’re unable to work, taking people to their appointments, and arranging communication with their family. Thank you for supporting this important project to give a highly vulnerable and ostracised group of people the chance they need to live a full life with dignity. 
“Most of the people affected by leprosy are farmers that left their hometowns to receive treatment at the centre. Besides their physical stigma, there is also a social stigma that seriously limits their capacity to interact with the social environment. Very few of them can go back home or work outside. And even their children are under continuous pressure of being discovered as ‘leprosy children.’”
Fr. Fernando Azpiroz SJ, Ricci Social Services Foundation    Your support is helping to restore a sense of belonging for people who have been cast out to the margins of society.  You can help to reduce the impact of discrimination on people affected by leprosy in Shiping and Wenshan, and to empower them to become active community members. Thanks to you, we can provide life-changing personal care to people in need, build community among them, and strengthen their relationship with society.