Nazma is a woman in Bangladesh who has suffered from leprosy for more than 35 years. She has clawed hands, deformities on both feet, an ulcer on her left foot, and no feeling in her limbs.
People don’t openly express it to her, but she can tell they don’t want her around. Recently, her neighbours have constructed more fences, privatizing areas she could previously walk upon freely. She now has a single, narrow path to walk to and from her house. The neighbours have asked her not to go through their land.
“They clearly don’t care about me,” she says.
Nazma’s house is located next to a large chicken farm. The smell is terrible and diseases run rampant. She and her older sister moved in six years ago.
“The stigma in the previous place I lived in was much worse, so here it’s not so bad,” she says.
Nazma has been part of effect:hope’s Northwest Bangladesh Ultra Poverty Initiative (NUPIP) program for the past eight years. Through the program, she received money to buy chickens and goats in 2010. The chickens have since died, but the goats are now in their third generation and Nazma has been quite successful in rearing them. Nazma also received a loan to build her house and receives a small stipend of 1,100 Bangladeshi Taka (C$17) each month to cover her daily expenses.
“Without your support, I don’t know what would have happened to me.”
To help people who suffer from leprosy like Nazma in Bangladesh, visit effecthope.org/donate and select “Bangladesh (North-West region)-Ultra-Poverty” in the designation field.
(Photos and story from Tom Bradley)