“Stand on your own feet”

People who have leprosy can also have visions! This is what was impressed upon me when I lived and worked in the “Little Flower Project” in northern India for the first time at the age of 18. “We want to prove that we can stand on our own feet, even if we have no feet!” That is their vision.

Quite a bit has changed over the years in which I have been accompanying the people in Little Flower, by supporting them with donations, being their spokeswoman in Europe and finding others to help them fulfill their dream.

Their “standing on their own feet, even if they don’t have feet anymore” is the foundation upon which everything else is built; it is like the underlying melody and basic rhythm of the project. In addition to that the name “Little Flower” symbolizes an important strategy of the head of the project, Brother Christdas.

He once explained the following to me:

“Apart from the medical problems, there are many aspects to leprosy, which impact all areas of people’s lives:

  • their health
  • their psychological equilibrium and self-esteem
  • their social and family lives and as such their emotional support
  • their means of earning a living and financial security “

Therefore we have to integrate all these aspects in their therapy. It is not enough to distribute medication and build hospitals.

We have to give these people work, provide them with housing and help them make new social contacts, start families and return to the old structures in their towns. This has been working out more and more often over the years

We have to free them of their social stigma and make it possible for them to experience that they can make a very valuable and unique contribution to society, together with us, in spite of the fact that their hands are crippled.

The petals of the “Little Flower” symbolize this idea. Their basic structure has to remain small and simple. But over the years Little Flower’s seeds have fallen on fertile ground throughout Champaran/Bihar, with the founding of many branches and formation of a good network, the center of which is Sunderpur.

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