*Lepers cries out, we need Help*

According to the great words of *Harvey Milk* which says,  *I know we can’t live on hope alone; but without hope, life is not worth living. So you and you and you need to stand for the less privileged and give them hope; that is one of the true essence of Living*. One reason for which we are created by God is to make the world a Better place for all. The means through which this can be achieved is unlimited. On Sunday, 3rd December 2016, a ten man team who represented the Kwara axis of the *Progressive Youths for African Leadership and Empowerment Initiative (PYAfrica Kwara), Nigeria* visited a neglected community which was connected to various perception people have for leprosy all over the world. For many at the community of persons affected by Leprosy, Oke-Igbala, Irepodun LGA of Kwara State, Nigeria, living with several stigmatization by the entire public, family and friends which has necessitated their return to the Leper’s community, years after being cured and discharged by certified hospitals is HELL on earth. The lack of vital body parts which they had lost to this disease as a result of improper and intensive care as at when due has condemned many to just existing.  Despite fundings by The Leprosy Mission Nigeria (TLMN) and other generous people through food items, payment of essential bills, tuition for children etc, surviving has not only been hard for the inhabitants of the community but many at times unachievable. The dilapidated structures in the community themselves tell a huge story. This is bewildering as BILLBOARDS used for the appreciation of the state government in the state capital (Ilorin) says otherwise concerning the government’s donation to the less privileged and disadvantaged all over the state.  Despite being the only referral hospital in the State for skin and non-tropical diseases, The State government only gives a monthly subvention of *#100,000* to the hospital. This is less than enough to pay the shorts staffed hospital which currently has just four nurses, a medical doctor and a hospital administrator taking care of about one hundred and fifty people in the colony altogether.  The hospital administrator of the Leper’s colony said with pity *”many of the residents here have no source of living asides buying and selling, which some have had to stop due to stigmatization, as many people are usually unwilling to buy from people affected by Leprosy”*. Others are now into begging, and sometimes take weeks or even months before they return to the colony so as to take care of their families within the colony. General donation from the several begging is used to sustain other members of the community in line with purchase of food, payment of tuition for children of the colony, PHCN bills and get some drugs. They also complained bitterly of politicians who would only visit when they want their votes and promise a lot without fulfilling any after they get what they wanted. Many Leaders within the community believe there is hope for them if they get the necessary treatment and campaign against stigmatization of people cured from this disease. They also hope to get some financial empowerment to start up some business as many had lost all they had to the disease upon treatment, donation to the colony and many others. In tears, they pleaded with our members to help reach meaningful Nigerians and Africans at large in advocating to our Government and well wishers all over the world. *(We never prayed for such life, “one of them said in tears” and your family members will all be protected from such disease)*. They seek food items ranging from Bags of Rice and Beans, Drugs and funds to take care of their families. Below are some pictures from this community. For your kind donations, send to *Account name: Progressive Youths for African Leadership and Empowerment Initiative, Account number: 4000300019, Bank: FCMB* Kindly write on the teller or a note while transferring *Leper’s Intervention*. Kindly share this piece to as many as possible on your timeline. Together we can make our World a better place.