Azaan, age 12, attended a presentation about Lepra’s work at his school, and learnt about the physical, psychological, and social harm caused by leprosy and how Lepra is working in India and Bangladesh to support the world’s most vulnerable people. His extraordinary empathy and kindness led him to go above and beyond expectations and set up his own GoFundMe site, where he would go on to raise an incredible £2,687!
Azaan decided that he wanted to set the ambitious goal of helping 100 people access the cure for leprosy, an antibiotic cocktail known as ‘multi drug therapy’ (MDT). With his family's support, Azaan managed to harness the power of social media, reaching out to a host of influential people, CEOs and business owners on Twitter to make the case for leprosy. Response to Azaan’s call to action was impressive, with kind donations coming in from business leaders such as Kevin Byrne, the founder of Checkatrade.com, Azaan smashed his target in just a few weeks.
To thank him for his awesome achievement, Lepra invited Azaan and his family to the Lepra offices in August, to meet some key figures from Lepra UK, LEPRA Society India and Lepra Bangladesh, who were meeting for the first time since the pandemic began. This was a great opportunity to speak with the people who are responsible for implementing Lepra’s projects and programmes overseas, and talk to them about the difference his contribution would make.
Azaan sat down with the inspirational Chief Executives and Country Directors: Dr David Pahan, Prasant Kumar and Jimmy Innes to find out how Lepra is working to support the world’s most vulnerable people. Azaan asked many important questions during their conversation, but perhaps the most poignant was around MDT:
“So why do people still get leprosy if there is a cure available?”.
A question which so perfectly defines our activities in education, awareness raising, early case detection, advocacy and our long fight against the enduring prejudice and discrimination surrounding leprosy.
As a special suprise, our colleagues in India prepared a special video of thanks, directly from the teams working at Lepra's referral centres and some of the people who will benefit from Azaan's amazing efforts. Watch it here:
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