Mr W has lived for many years with the pain caused by his family’s rejection; they forced him to leave his home and village when they discovered he had leprosy.
So Mr W left and came to live at The Leprosy Mission (TLM)-supported McKean Rehabilitation Centre in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. The centre provides high-quality care for leprosy-affected people, many of whom come for in-patient care or reconstructive surgery and then return home.
But some, especially the older patients like Mr W, have no home to return to. It is always the staff’s intention to encourage patients, where practical, to live independently in an ordinary community.
And so the staff would gently encourage Mr W to move on from the rejection he had experienced. Eventually, although he still often felt depressed, he completed a course in bicycle and motorbike repairs.
With the help of staff at McKean, he was given support and the necessary materials to set up a small repair shop. Gradually business began to trickle in and he made new friends. But there were days when no-one would come to the shop for repairs and on those days he would have no money for food.
So at McKean he was able to gain some handicraft skills; he learnt to make greeting cards. Staff helped Mr W to clear a corner of his workshop where, on quiet days, he could make his cards. Each week he takes his hand-made cards to the craft workshop at McKean where he meets up with other handicraft workers and receives payment for the cards he’s made. He says he now feels part of a team. And he was delighted when The Leprosy Mission’s trading arm (TLM Trading) placed an order for the Easter cards he and his fellow workers had made.
Mr W’s confidence and happiness are increasing. He knows he will always have some kind of work to do, and he no longer has to worry about money for food. He is also an accepted member of the local community. The rejection of his past is no longer robbing him of a happy future.Back to The Leprosy Mission World