News Update: Female health volunteers Thousands of women and girls face terrifying domestic abuse and discrimination, because they have leprosy. Often, due to cultural and religious reasons these women cannot be examined by a male. Therefore there is an increasing need for female health volunteers. This year, you’ve been helping us to ensure no woman suffers alone, by training female community champions to support other women in their communities. We need female community champions to reach as many vulnerable women as possible, help them detect early signs of leprosy, encourage and help them to get the treatment they need, educate their communities and help to stamp out the stigma that is associated with leprosy. Since we started this campaign: 150 self-help groups have been formed with 34% female membership, and 38% female leadership We have increased awareness of basic rights: More than 300 women are now aware that as a person with a disability they have the right to access certain basic services 85 female group leaders are participating in advocacy meetings with local government representatives and policymakers to discuss their socio-economic situations Over 700 women affected by leprosy have received training on how to set up and run their own businesses Over 1,800 women were tested for leprosy 860 women have gained access to disability management services like physiotherapy We’ve come so far in helping women understand their rights and ensure they have access to the treatment and support they need, but we’ve still got a long way to go. You can continue helping us by donating as little as £20 to help train one of these vital champions. Find our more about female community champions by reading Shapla's story.