Every day, thousands of women and girls affected by leprosy face appalling discrimination and domestic abuse.

They are cast out, abandoned and sometimes severely beaten by their husbands. The shame and stigma they feel causes them to hide themselves away.

The more that women hide away, the worse the disease progresses. If untreated, it can lead to permanent disability, including blindness.

Kalpana and her daughterKalpana was beaten and abandoned

Kalpana was just 18 when her husband noticed dark spots on her skin. He suspected that she had leprosy, a condition that carries a terrible stigma in India.

He closed the door, tied her up, and attacked her with a stick. The beatings went on for months. Then, one day, he banished Kalpana and their five-year-old daughter from the family home – forever.

RachnaRachna now helps people with leprosy

Rachna is one of the many women who have turned their lives around thanks to Lepra. When she was diagnosed with leprosy her husband’s family cast her out with her two small children.

They deserted me, which made me think, why is this happening to me?

Rachna is now cured and campaigns for people affected by leprosy.

As I am cured today, I have the opportunity to serve people affected by leprosy

We are determined that no woman with leprosy should suffer this way. We want to train 3,000 female health volunteers to reach as many vulnerable women as possible. These community champions are vital in our fight to stamp out the stigma of leprosy.

Just £20 can train a female Community Champion to help women detect their leprosy early, help them get treatment, educate their communities, and stamp out the stigma that comes with leprosy.

Please give £20 today, so that no women with leprosy have to hide away

Take a look at what your donations have achieved so far:

Female Community Champion update