We first met Haydar four years ago in Sadar Bogra, a small village in Bangladesh, speaking about the effects of leprosy to a crowd on the street.

It was clear from the state of his fingers that Haydar had suffered from leprosy himself, so we approached him to hear his story.

I contracted leprosy over 35 years ago when a white patch and a blister appeared on my hand.
I spent all my money visiting doctors, but nobody diagnosed it as leprosy. Eventually I travelled to a hospital 160km away and they put me on multidrug therapy.
I needed to earn money so I continued to work as a rickshaw puller, but this gave me ulcers and I eventually lost my hands and feet to leprosy.

To help Haydar, we gave him healthcare advice and replaced his worn out shoes with our specialised padded sandals.

Now I can walk without pain. Since meeting Lepra and wearing their shoes, I rarely get ulcers anymore.

But that wasn’t the end of Haydar’s story.

I wanted to help other people affected by leprosy so nobody would suffer like I had in the past.

Today, Haydar is responsible for three self-help groups. He uses his passion to motivate them, give them support and organise regular training days.

He now travels to other villages to distribute leaflets and give educational lessons using flip charts and CDs.

Lepra has given me a new life and a hope for the future. Before, I never even realised I had a future.