Children related to people with leprosy tend to grow up in poverty and often don’t have access to quality education.
While the initial focus of Embrace a Village was to help leprosy patients, Joe’s wife, Pat, helped us expand our vision. Pat recognized that many children in the villages did not have the disease themselves yet were treated as outcasts. She encouraged EAV to provide education to these at-risk children because it would open up better career choices, the chance to break away from poverty and to raise families beyond the stigma of leprosy.
Our heart is to help these children get the education they need to succeed.
Monday through Friday, we provide after school tutoring through the Little Lights Program. Children starting in kindergarten through high school receive nutritious dinners and the hope of a future.
Children like Lyappan.
Lyappan is a very happy 7-year-old boy studying in the 2nd grade. He lives with his parents in a leprosy colony, where both of his grandparents have leprosy. His mom and dad work as day laborers, yet their combined efforts bring in very little income. This creates a daily struggle to provide for their family.
Recently, his parents noticed that other children in the leprosy colony were attending the Embrace a Village After-school Tutoring Program. Children were improving in their school work and also receiving their best and most nutritious meal of the day. Lyappan’s parents asked if their son could attend the program too.
Since enrolling in Little Lights, Lyappan discovered that he enjoys drawing and listening to music.
His parents are thankful that Lyappan now receives educational help and a nutritious meal five days a week!
All of our programs at EAV contribute to the health and well-being of the families affected by leprosy. But more than anything, we are grateful for the ongoing opportunity to share the message of hope and healing. To find out more about Little Lights, click here.
*not Lyappan in photo.