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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several in my Mariette's Back to Basics LLC Boutique, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy |  google.com/+MariettesBacktoBasics 
I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Check out my google.com/+MarietteVandenMunckhofVedder ABOUT page, where you see my other LINKS and email address; you just scroll down.Thanks!
Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

{World Leprosy Day}

French philanthropist and writer, Raoul Follereau, initiated World Leprosy Day in 1954. It is being observed around the world on the last Sunday of January, or the nearest Sunday. This year that results in Sunday, February 2 for 2014 as it is the nearest Sunday. On December 20, I did write a post about both of us visiting the very same Leprosy Hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia where Princess Diana visited in 1989. You find that link below this post for those that missed it.

This is me, back in 1997 in the Jakarta, Indonesia Leprosy hospital with a male patient.
Look at his disfigured hands... and skinny arms!
Indonesia belongs to the 3 billion people on this earth that have people that make less than US $ 2.00 per day. How would a leprosy patient who is also an outcast, make enough money to afford any surgery?
Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs - Updated 2010 BEST video to show you this reality!
As if two affected hands would not be enough... look at his foot!
Showing you that due to this infection, the entire leg becomes swollen.
This man's feet are also affected... They are not able to wear shoes with such severely disfigured feet and thus they are even more prone to infection and open wounds.
November 20, 1999 I am holding here the hand of a poor man who lost already one hand and half of the other one... Seen is only his thumb and his palm; fingers are gone! Just imagine having to live like that!
People in the Western world complain about poverty but that is a far cry from those 3 billion, making LESS than US $ 2.00 a day. They cannot afford anything. 
Because Leprosy still has this Stigma about it, people that have the initial signs of this dreaded disease from biblical times, hide...
This young woman is lucky for having come to the hospital with her skin rash that is the beginning of Leprosy. Usually those untreated loose their nose and part of their face and turn blind as well.

above text is from +Leprastichting 
Sure, from the comments I received, there might be the need for providing some figures about annual new cases of leprosy world wide. In 1997 that was 600,000 annual and in 2010 less than 250,000 but keep in mind the millions that became disfigured because of leprosy!

The Dutch Leprastichting (Leprosy foundation) link also tells us about the human rights issues for ex leprosy and leprosy sufferers.
Did you know that the Leprosy foundation in The Netherlands receives money from De Nationale Postcode Loterij (The National Zipcode Lottery) and since 1996 they received 19.5 million Euro for the Leprastichting.
Wikipedia about Leprosy for above info, just scroll down.

Let us not turn away from those pour souls and educate others to tackle the harsh Leprosy Stigma and Ostracism!

Related links:
{Like Princess Diana, I also Tried to Tackle the Leprosy Stigma} | previous post by me
Why is it hard to eradicate leprosy? | article in The Economist November 11th, 2013
{My 6 Min Presentation The Truth About Leprosy for GPDLI, AtAmerica U.S. EMBASSY JAKARTA} | post by me with video + Pdf transcript link
{My 8th Blog Award - Sunshine from Japan} | previous post by me mentioning our fight for the underdog 
{We saw FOUR Armadillos at Lunch Time!} | Humans can acquire a leprosy infection from armadillos by handling them or consuming armadillo meat, and are a presumed vector and natural reservoir for the disease in Texas and Louisiana - previous post by me



48 comments:

  1. it must be so difficult to endure - physically and emotionally.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Theresa,
      Guess their nerves get numbed but the emotional part is the tough one. We cannot comprehend how it must feel for becoming an outcast and left to begging as the only way to survive... WHY should this take thousands of year and still very little interest in world wide doing away with the stigma.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  2. That literally brought tears to my eyes dear Mariette. Those poor people .. It must be so hard. How nice of you to visit them and bring more attention to this cause.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Pallavi,
      Oh, this sight broke our hearts for seeing them along intersections in Indonesia and in India, begging for some money... Pieter did throw out a paper bill (about a 3-day's worth of money for the average person) and that leprosy victim went after it, scampering on all fours - against the traffic as the exhausts had blown away the paper bill. When I looked back from the car, I almost cried... but he got it and survived!
      But being in those bad exhaust gasses day after day is another way of shortening their already miserable lives. So sad indeed! The world pays attention to HIV but this is a group that is completely forgotten. They have no voice, no means for reaching out; let alone via social media. We can do it for them and must do it. If only that stigma could be lifted, that makes an enormous change.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  3. Dearest Mariette;
    The last picture of the young lady made my heart a bit relieved; heart breaking fact but we shouldn't avert our eyes from the fact. Thank you very much for reminding us of this day.

    PS> Reading your comment for Pallavi, let me add the news I heard recently about aerial pollution from China (PM2.5) getting worse and affecting Japan. I hope our technology can help the problem.
    I think I can find time to popping in to my friends today(^^;)

    Sending you lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my dear friend in America, xoxo Miyako*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Miyako,
      You are so right about the fact that we should not avert our eyes from the problem. Ostrich policy is no solution to it and even if HIV seems to be more political correct, these poor souls need equal attention.
      Sure, China is becoming more and more of a problem as they don't care about pollution the way Japan and the western world is doing. Hope you don't have to suffer poor health conditions because of China's neglect for cleaning up their act.
      Hugs to you and happy weekend.
      Mariette

      Delete
  4. There are lots of people in this world that suffer from many, many diseases which are terrible.. Hopefully thing have improved just a little since you were there such a long time ago.
    Hugs Kay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Kay,
      That is true but there is no other disease with such a harsh stigma and ostracism, resulting in such emotional suffering!
      We have not been back to Indonesia since 2001 but we keep in close contact and through the Rotary club from Jakarta Sentral and our local Rotary club we did follow up with several projects for those leprosy affected people. Mainly providing them with a prosthesis so they can walk again.
      We also did stay in close contact with the Dutch Leprosy Foundation. There still needs to be a lot done for making this harsh stigma finally go away.
      Thanks for you comment and wishing you a happy weekend!
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  5. Dearest Mariette,
    it is really a shame that leprosy is completely forgotten as you say.
    But I am sure there will still be some persons like you to care about these poor people.
    I wish you a nice month of February
    Hugs,
    Marie-Anne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Marie-Anne,
      We all together can create a difference for lifting this terribly harsh stigma and ostracism so those ex leprosy patients and leprosy sufferers get treated and respected according to the human rights.
      For sure those poor souls are not blogging or in any way ative on social media. But we all together can bring more awareness.
      Hugs and happy weekend to you!
      Mariette

      Delete
  6. Het is goed daar aandacht aan te besteden door middel van een speciale dag. Je doet goed werk daar door geld in te zamelen voor hun behandeling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beste Marianne,
      Ja als de hele beschaafde wereld zich zou inzetten dan kon door onderwijs dit stigma en het ostracisme worden opgeheven na dúizende jaren...
      We hebben dit altijd met veel liefde gedaan en zo kwam het geld ook 100% ten goede omdat wij er toch naar toe reisden. Met zoveel zogenaamde goede doelen blijft er veel te veel aan de strijkstok hangen en komt er slechts zo'n 10% echt op de plaats... Jámmer. De Nationale Postcode Loterij doet ook erg goed werk voor goede doelen waaronder ook de Leprastichting! Als elk land het zó zou doen dan kregen we veel gedaan.
      Liefs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  7. Dearest Marriette,
    Thanks for such an enlightening post. Stigma has destroyed so many lives and so many people suffered .I did not even realize that Leprosy still existed. You are a very kind person. I used to hear stories that people did not even want to get close to people with Leprosy. Here you are taking pictures and all. May God Bless you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Munir,
      Well, we both have never been afraid of going there and touching them or whatsoever. They were so happy when we handed them those toiletry bags that we collected from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. But it stings when you just handed out the LAST one and have nothing left for those hopeful eyes staring at you... That really hurts your heart!
      We always have trusted in our Creator that he would protect us from above. It is highly contagious by coughing, more or less equivalent to the spread of Tuberculosis.
      May there one day be enough awareness in this world! People are often too busy with their own 'WANT' and forget about the NEED of so many millions that live with us together on this planet.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  8. Hello Mariette, It is so sad to consider the situation of these people. A you point out, the twin stigmas of disease and poverty keeping reinforcing each other in an ever-worsening cycle. You show us some positive steps that are finally being taken, so I hope that this scourge will be lessened in the future.
    --Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Jim,
      Indeed, we hope to see some major improvement into this harrowing situation that still exists like in biblical time and the world seems to have forgotten about them. Saying that there are less new cases is like bandaid as there remain still several millions that had leprosy and are disfigured and without a job or any hope... Indeed, a persistent scourge from biblical times!
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  9. sei davvero una grande donna!!!!!! un forte abbraccio e buona domenica Lory

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cara Lory,
      Grazie, sei molto gentile ma sono una persona molto normale... anche piuttosto modesto! Ma sto lottando tanto per loro che non hanno voce.
      Buona domenica e un forte abbracia per te.
      Mariette

      Delete
  10. What a favor you are doing the world by spreading this message of hope for so many people, Mariette. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Stacy,
      This is just a little thing I can do in trying to ease their emotional suffering for living through such harsh stigma and ostracism. If only more people would stand together, we would make a difference to those millions of disfigured leprosy patients in the world... They too are humans!
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  11. As you mentioned it was a disease from biblical times which still lingers in our world today.
    So sad and I take my hat off to the marvellous medical staff and carers for all that they do.
    A good thing to bring out in the open as you have done Mariette.
    Hugs
    Shane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Shane,
      The medical staff can only care for those patients but it is up to the governments for accepting leprosy patients as human beings with the same rights as other citizens. For educating the people and getting rid of this harsh stigma and ostracism... THAT would make a huge difference to millions that suffer this emotional pain day after day with nobody to turn to.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  12. This is just something so sad, but we cant just turn our heads away. Really nice post, we need more people like you

    Thank you for your lovely comment!

    Facebook / Instagram /Twitter / Chicisimo

    - Hannah's Heels

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Hannah,
      Thank you very much and let's hope that more people will raise some awareness!
      Happy Sunday to you.
      Mariette

      Delete
  13. Dearest Mariette,
    hard pics....but hard reality....tienes un corazón que no te cabe en el pecho!!!
    Besos
    Leti
    Sin pereza

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Leticia,
      Thank you for your kind words! It is a hard reality but someone has to bring it up as it seems like everyone plays a kind of ostrich politics... With the head in the sand, you cannot see the problems around you.
      Hugs to you and happy Sunday!
      Mariette

      Delete
  14. I feel terrible saying that I didn't know that Leprosy was still around in parts of the world, for some reason I thought it was one of those diseases that no longer exist, thank you for this post it has been an eye opener for me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Jo-Anne,
      Well, the media is to blame for that, they only publish about political correct subjects and never ever mention these poor souls. States men too are to blame for their ostrich politics, well if you ignore the problems it doesn't exist. If you have been involved with such a Leprosy project for several years, it never leaves you and I wish I could do something for those poor ostraciced people. But thank you for your time and comment; one person being educated at a time and this affects your neighbors in Indonesia and Vietnam, India for the biggest part as they have such a large population. In Africa and South America there are also victims of Leprosy. And certain publications, like also in wikipedia, are too positive they only mention the annual new cases but they conveniently omit the millions on this planet that still suffer with disfigured bodies and being outcast of society.
      Hugs and happy Sunday to you.
      Mariette

      Delete
  15. Dearest Mariette,
    I thought your hart up by look at his distugured hands..and skinny arms Indonesia belongs to the 3 billion people.
    The man's feet are also affected..they are not able to were shose it was very much back in Japan after
    in the wars time..an infection has open wounds.
    You care about so many people in other words!
    Hugs and love to you!
    Michiko

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Michiko,
      Indeed, there are 3 billion people on this planet that have to live from less than US $ 2.00 per day! Those poor leprosy people never can get a decent job due to the harsh stigma and ostracism... Oh sure, Japan has had several cases of leprosy too and they were living on a separate island.
      The entire world has to help in getting rid of this stigma and ostracism. That way, people no longer will hide and more can be cured early on before the nerve and bone damage has progressed too far.
      Yes Michiko, both of us do love people in general and we also fight for the underdog!
      Hugs to you,
      Mariette

      Delete
  16. Dear Mariette,i feel so sad for those poor people!You are such a lovely lady to care for them.
    Wish you a nice new month!Hugs!
    Dimi...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Dimi,
      It is a very sad fact indeed... We both have always done what we could for helping those leprosy victims.
      Happy new month to you as well.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  17. Dear Mariette,

    As others have said that it seems like it was a disease that is no longer around but sadly it still affects people today. Thanks for sharing this post and for your caring nature.
    Happy Sunday
    Hugs
    Carolyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Carolyn,
      It really does affect millions of people's daily life as of today... We can blame the media for ignoring those poor souls. I tried my best in reaching at least a few more people.
      Hugs to you and happy new week.
      Mariette

      Delete
  18. My dearest Mariette ,you are so sensitized person ! You are thinking all the sick people and you try to help them .May be all of us we must thinking like you .I hope that this sickness will be disappear soon ,
    Have a lovely month !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Olympia,
      Thank you for your words and yes, I wish that more people would spread this the world over so those leprosy affected people would get more attention and for getting rid of the stigma and ostacism.
      Enjoy your February month.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  19. Dearest Mariette,
    What a beautiful and touching tribute to World Leprosy Day and to an illness which is so widely ignored nowadays, since most people in the Western world believe it has been eradicated long ago. I felt so moved by the images, your loving smile while visiting these poor souls speaks volumes about your kind heart. Bless your heart, my sweet friend.

    Thank you for your sweet comment! The first photo (showing the inn) is taken from their website (I forgot to quote), so it must be a spring or summer picture. Anyway it was very mild indeed given the season, and we had no snow... which in its turn made long walks in nature possible :)

    Sending lots of hugs all the way from the Alps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Anna,
      Thank you for your kind and understanding words! Let's hope those leprosy victims will get more attention and media coverage for helping them and above all, for educating those countries where the harsh stigma still is evident.
      It was hard to believe that in winter any geraniums would survive. We need them most in winter but that is a dream...
      Hugs to you,
      Mariette

      Delete
  20. Liebe Mariette,
    es ist schön zu sehen, dass Menschen an die vielen kranken und behinderten Mitmenschen denken und ein Ohr für sie haben - leider gibt es so viel Elend und Leid auf der Welt - ich wünschte, die "Güter" wären gerechter verteilt, so würde niemand leiden müssen -

    zu deiner Frage: auf dem 4. Foto meines Posts sind Tulpen zu sehen -

    liebe Grüße - Ruth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liebe Ruth,
      Es würde schon ganz viel helfen ohne Güter wenn die ganze Welt sich einsetzen würde um das Stigma weg zu nehmen. Emotionell wird sehr gelitten durch diesen Leprosen.
      Dass ist ja eine sehr besondere Tulpensorte; so schön in weiss!
      Lieber Guss,
      Mariette

      Delete
  21. I don't watch the news or read the paper anymore, but leprosy still seems to be one of those diseases that doesn't get much attention. I always thought of it as something that happened years ago and wasn't much of a problem these days. It is just awful how it infects and disfigures. There are so many people that make so little. Which is why those who can should make a point of giving back each and every day in some small way. Hugs to you, Tammy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Tammy,
      Oh, the media completely ignores it and those poor leprosy affected people suffer great emotional pain and live on the edge of society. Why not help them for getting rid of the stigma; just like Princess Diana did so bravely in 1989. She didn't have to but she was humble enough to go and do it and that resulted in great media attention! If more public figures would step in, we could make it happen! You are so right about those who can should make a point of giving back in a small way. Giving time would be a blessing to millions.
      Hugs to you,
      Mariette

      Delete
  22. Our "civilized" world shoudn't be confronted with this kind of desease anymore but it seems that things don't have changed for some people...unfortunately... You have such a big heart and open mind dear friend. I wish you a happy new week and may you always be able to give a hand Mariette!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Olympia,
      You put civilized rightly that way as that same western world is showing far less compassion and is only busy with their own WANT. The media is letting those poor leprosy victims down big time. One wonders why?
      Thank you for your kind words and wishing you a lovely new week.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  23. What an important post and beautiful tribute for those who suffers from the leprosy.
    You have such a beautiful soul to visit them in the hospital and keep raising awareness of the disease.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Tamago,
      Wish, only wish that we could reach those that make decissions and who could actually change the stigma into understanding and therewith taking away so much emotional suffering from millions of people on this very earth...
      Thank you for your kind words and we both did what we could without question as someone has to speak for them. But lots of people like to conveniently look the other way... they don't want to be bothered with such images. I wonder what they would say if it was THEM suffering this dreaded disease...
      Hugs to you,
      Mariette

      Delete
  24. Liebe Mariette,
    danke, dass du an diese ausgegrenzte Gruppe Menschen erinnerst.
    Anlässlich meiner Nepal-Reise kam ich auch in ein großes Lepra-Dorf.
    Erschütternd, was man hier zu sehen bekommt. Ich spende seit dieser Zeit jedes
    Jahr einen Betrag ür dieses Dorf. Aber das ist leider nur ein Tropfen auf den heißen
    Stein.
    Einen schönen Restsonntag wünscht dir
    Irmi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liebe Irimi,
      Du bist sehr gut bereist und auch gut belesen aber meiste Menschen wissen nicht, und interessieren sich auch nicht für diesen ärmsten der Welt. Das emotionelle Leiten ist so schlimm und sie finden keine Hilfe von irgendjemanden der für sie kämpft. Wie damals Prinzessin Diana es so mutig getan hat und sie hat damit sehr viel mediale Aufmerksamkeit erreicht. Aber seid sie tod ist hat es leider keine Person mehr gegeben die es weitergeleitet hat.
      Danke für deine Kommentar und für deine persönliche Hilfe und eine schöne neue Woche!
      Lieber Gruss,
      Mariette

      Delete

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