World Leprosy Day
World Leprosy Day is the day for international leprosy awareness.
For over 60 years, on the last Sunday of January, people around the world have observed World Leprosy Day by remembering and praying for those living with the terrible effects of leprosy.
World Leprosy Day was the idea of the great French humanitarian, Raoul Follereau, who dedicated many years to fundraising and helping those affected by leprosy. Initially, this day of prayer was to achieve two things. First, Follereau believed that those affected by leprosy should receive the same respect, dignity and quality of care as any other patient. Second, he wanted greater awareness of the disease in order to change attitudes and to reduce stigma.
60 years later, those are still the objectives of World Leprosy Day, though we also invite people to give a gift that supports daily efforts working to achieve those goals.
Join the Celebrations in Canada
Each year, effect:hope plans unique World Leprosy Day activities to use with your church congregation during service, with a Youth Group, Mission Group, Outreach Group or even at home with your family and friends.
In 2017, World Leprosy Day will be taking place on Sunday, January 29th. To register your church for participation, please contact Lynda Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-537-7679, ext. 2011 or fill out the form at the bottom of this page.
effect:hope relies on leaders in each community to coordinate the celebrations. The event centres around a 10-15 minute presentation. When you register using the form below, you will receive the following materials to assist you in coordinating your own World Leprosy Day celebration:
- Sermon/presentation notes (includes scripture reading, info about leprosy) (download the 2017 sermon notes)
- One poster (download the 2017 poster)
- A 5-minute DVD (view the 2017 video on YouTube)
- Bulletin Insert (download the 2017 bulletin insert)
More about the History of World Leprosy Day
The particular day, the final Sunday in January, was chosen to commemorate the death of famous Indian nationalist leader, peace activist and celebrated global icon, Mahatma Gandhi, who once said, “Eliminating leprosy is the only work I have not been able to complete in my lifetime.” Through World Leprosy Day, we hope that we can move closer to finish the work that Gandhi could not.
We can’t do it without you. We need you to help raise awareness. World Leprosy Day is not-yet-recognized by the United Nations. In order to eliminate the disease, the ‘people in charge’ need to see that leprosy is an important issue to many of us around the world.
Plenty of North Americans believe that leprosy is a long-gone disease. We use the words “leper” and “leprosy” as colourful metaphors to describe the problems of society. The reality is so different; each year, between 200 and 300,000 people are newly diagnosed with the disease, and millions continue to live with the horrible consequences of it.