Volunteering in Nepal – Adventure Philanthropist *Video*
Meet my good friend and Adventure Philanthropist Pirjo! I met Pirjo while trekking in Nepal and subsequently visited her at her family’s summer cottage in Finnish Lapland this summer.
While visiting at their lovely lake-side cottage I asked Pirjo about her recent 3-month volunteer stint in Nepal:
Can’t see the video? Click on this link: Adventure Philanthropist Pirjo
Volunteering in Nepal
Pirjo volunteered at a hospital in Nepal that that was started by The Leprosy Mission International (TLMI) more than 50 years ago. Today the hospital is run by Nepali, but the hospital still receives some financial support from TLMI.
While volunteering, Pirjo paid $15 a day for her food and accommodation. The accommodations were very basic, but right in the vicinity of the hospital so she could walk to work each day. I remember her telling me stories of how she did all her laundry by hand and took bucket showers for the full 3 months.
Using your Professional Skills
As a physical therapist with special training in working with leprosy patients, Pirjo’s skills and experience are much in demand! Pirjo gained her specialty while working with the same organization in Bhutan for 3 years. To arrange her volunteer gig in Nepal, she simply called the TLMI representative in Finland.
Most of us know very little about leprosy, like:
Does leprosy still even exist? Yes, in fact, every 2 minutes a person is diagnosed with leprosy. In 2010, there were 28,474 new cases of leprosy detected. Globally there are 2-3 million people with leprosy-related disabilities.
Where is leprosy found? The most cases are found in India, Indonesia and Brazil. Here’s a clear map:
Have more questions about how leprosy is treated and how is it contracted? Visit the TLMI web site.
The Leprosy Mission (TLM), an international Christian organization, was founded in 1874 and helps those affected by leprosy. It is the oldest and largest leprosy-focused organization in the world today.
The organization’s work focuses on community-based rehabilitation (CBR), prevention of disability (POD), advocacy, capacity building, healthcare, education, and stigma reduction. Because leprosy affects people’s lives in many different ways, they seek to care for patients physical, social, spiritual and psychological needs.
The Leprosy Mission directly supports around 200 leprosy projects in 26 countries. The largest number of projects is in India, with a significant number in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nigeria and Nepal. The organization provides financial and project support in another 24 countries.
Interested in volunteering or giving a donation? You can contact your TLMI country representative directly.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 and is filed under Adventure Philanthropists.