World Leprosy Day 2021

Following World Leprosy Day last Sunday, we thought it would be a great time to update our church family about Adika, whose education is sponsored by the Coffee Shop through NLT and the Lydia Children’s Fund.

Adika is 6 years old and lives with her leprosy-affected parents and four older sisters in Khokana on the edge of Kathmandu.

All of them are living in one room. Her father has a small street shop where he sells nail cutters, handkerchiefs, key-rings, etc. for the family income. Her father’s shop has been closed as the Government banned the opening of street shops due to COVID. Her family is getting food from the Leprosy Centre in Khokana. (The Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital in our videos is over 5 hours away from Kathmandu).  All her sisters are studying at school. Having a big family, it is very difficult for her parents to afford education for them all, as well as manage house expenses.

Adika likes playing with her friends and she likes drawing very much. She sent us this lovely picture just before Christmas. When asked about her future aim, she said she wants to become a fruit seller because she likes mango and banana very much.

Whilst her school was closed as a result of the pandemic, she was attending school via Zoom. We wondered how this was possible, given the level of poverty of the household, but our contacts at NLT told us that it is not unusual, even for a very poor family to have a smart phone between them in Nepal. Very cheap phones come over the border from China and there is a big second hand market for phones in Nepal too. In some ways, phones are a critical way for getting business in the developing world, especially for daily labourers as that is how they now get to be told about work rather than the ‘old days’ where they would hang around on a street corner daily, waiting for someone to pick them up if work was available.

Those of us who have been home schooling in privileged circumstances, can only imagine what it has been like for this family. Probably only a small amount of interaction with her school/teacher/class via zoom and limited by the demands on the phone within the household – and Adika is the youngest!  There are national TV shows offering classes for different year groups but clearly that will not be so targeted or personal. Online, I found some photos of Adika’s school in September, showing teachers in their empty classrooms, teaching their class online and it also said that they had been allowed to have children in school who had no technology at home.

Adika’s father comes to the NLT office in Kathmandu for her monthly support and in January, the office staff had a conversation with him about Adika’s studies. He said Adika and her sisters’ school has re-started and she is regularly attending her classes. She is very happy to be in the school after a long time! She is studying hard. 

Most of the schools have opened, though the COVID threat/fear is still there.  The students are using sanitiser, mask, face-shield and maintaining social distance (as much as children can!)

Please pray for her studies, safety from COVID as well as for her family.

In the Ladies’ Lifegroup we often touch on the subject of feeling powerless to help people in extreme poverty or other disadvantage and tragedy – that the challenge is so huge we feel paralysed and do nothing.

Child sponsorship, especially when we have a personal connection through our church family with people directly in touch with the children themselves, is a way of changing the life of one child. Except of course it is not just one child. By supporting Adika with her education, we are bringing hope to the whole family. With knowledge and access to a better future, Adika will have opportunities that her parents never had – and isn’t that what we all want for our children? How wise to want to work with things that you love – mangoes and bananas! But who knows, her ambitions may grow to wanting to become a teacher or a doctor and change lots more lives.

So, are there any children waiting for sponsorship through NLT? At the moment, a number of children have recently finished their schooling/sponsorship and those donors carried on their sponsorship, picking up those who had been on the waiting list for sponsors. However it is a good position to be in – if a child is identified and there are sponsors waiting, NLT can help them straight away. So if people would like to sponsor a child, it is definitely worth letting Mike in the NLT UK office know and he will inform you as soon as a child is added to the scheme.

We also understand that COVID restrictions have made it hard for the NLT community team to discover and verify new potential sponsorship children, hence no current waiting list, but it is likely that several will be identified, as soon as travel and communications become easier.

People are very welcome to support NLT in other ways – they certainly appreciate our prayers and we receive regular email updates with prayer requests for patients, families, hospital and office staff and leadership team. You can sign up to receive this newsletter specifically – it is a separate mailing list to our church Friday Newsletter.

If you would like to give financially, there are several ways to do this. A direct link to the donation service used by NLT is but if you would like to read more before you donate and see other ways to support them, they have an excellent website

We look forward to being able to support NLT with more “hands on” fundraising in the near future, but in the meantime, let’s do what we can.