Scouts leprosy support
Title of the Story: Scouts Leprosy Youth Led Initiative.
People affected with leprosy (PAWL) in South Sudan are the most marginalized, discriminated, isolated and rejected people by their family and community members because of their status. The marginalization and the discrimination never ended with those individuals suffering from leprosy, but is extended to the children who are even not affected. This negative attitude of the people towards the leprosy people and their children has been and is affecting the education and social life of the children who deserve fair treatment and rights to care, shelter, food, clothing, education and treatment. The most vulnerable families of the PAWL live under the trees even during rainy seasons, their children have nothing to eat only to depend on bagging on the streets, and this make them to have no time to go to school.
This situation challenged and motivated the scouts to set up a youth led initiative to first engage in erecting shelters to the most affected families, this has been done for at least three years. The second activity is an annual collection of second hand clothes, shoes for children, blankets, bed sheets and money for buying non-food and food items such as scholastic materials, washing soaps, rice, beans, sugar, wheat flour and salt. The few scholastic materials bought are always distributed to few children of the most vulnerable families of the PAWL to help their children go to school. While the food and non-food items are distributed to the 137 households.
This offer is always presented to PAWL on 15th December of every year as a Christmas Gifts to enable them have food to share with their children during Christmas. The Scouts action among this community have challenged the County authorities to build a semi-permanent house to accommodate 10 households though the big number still remain in bad situation, secondly some groups and individuals are attracted and encouraged to extend their support to the PAWL too, and lastly the children are able to attend school regularly.
The Scouts intend to build some tukuls for some of the vulnerable people and increase the scholastic materials to benefit more children, but this idea is interrupted with the current economic crises in the country. However, anybody who comes across this story and is willing to stress out his/her helping hand to support this marginalized community will be appreciated.