Poverty causes strife in the communities where we work, both for people affected and disabled by leprosy and for others alike. We believe that inclusive development will be more effective than strategies that keep groups apart. We seek to bring people together around a common goal – both those affected and disabled by leprosy and those without significant health challenges. They are neighbours after all and share the burden of living in dire poverty.

Antonio is working on his piece of land

Project objectives

  • Increased agricultural productivity of 1000 smallholder farmers through training in adaptable and sustainable farming techniques;
  • Farmers Organisations (FOs) have the capacity to deliver quality services to their members and gain access to markets;
  • The nutritional status of 1000 smallholder households (5000 beneficiaries) is improved by introducing new nutritional practices and community training;
  • The establishment of ongoing support from district-level government agricultural and health officials in technical agricultural training, access to markets for surplus production, and access to basic health services;
  • Reduction in disability burdens pressing on communities through early case detection, ongoing group-centred physical rehabilitation activities, and supply of assistive devices;
  • The establishment of knowledge-building self-help groups and education in health and agricultural livelihood strategies.

The project also aims to increase awareness of human rights. As a result, community members can themselves start to advocate for better health and agricultural services as well as monitor the performance of governmental service providers.

A woman sifts cassava flour
Lidia dries cassava in the sun
The harvest of a person affected by leprosy

Our disability-inclusive development initiative aims to ensure that people with disabilities, caused by both leprosy and other diseases, can fully and actively participate in society on an equal basis. While all community members will share the expected benefits, approximately 30% of beneficiaries are people negatively affected by leprosy, lymphatic filariasis, konzo, and other diseases.

Project update

After one year we managed to:

  • Train 1180 farmers of whom 711 affected by leprosy, lymphatic filariasis, konzo and other Neglected Tropical Diseases on conservation agriculture techniques to improve their agricultural productivity.
  • Conduct an early case detection campaign during the monthly community skin patch days where a total of 3417 persons were sensitized on leprosy and other Neglected Tropical Diseases and the importance of early case detection in reducing disabilities. This led to active case finding of 775 people.

The first harvest will be at the end of June 2019, where we will measure the increase in productivity compared to before the project started.

Execution

The execution of the project involves two other partners: ADRA (Adventist Development Relief Agency) and Lepra UK.