EAV is a 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax deductible. 100% of your donation serves those affected by leprosy in India, thanks to specific donors committed to pay for all EAV administrative costs. Your gifts of prayer and financial support make a huge and positive difference in the life of a person or family that has been affected by this disease.
Since our start in 2003 through 2015, the Embrace a Village team has evolved to more than 50 caregivers who have earned the trust and acceptance of the community of individuals with leprosy throughout Tamil Nadu. $3.1 million in donations has been given to support these people through our spiritual, medical, nutritional, and educational programs and has enabled Embrace a Village to become the most effective, consistent, and comprehensive care program for those with leprosy.
With the generous giving of donors whose hearts have been touched by our ministry and by God, our next step will be to enhance some of our current programs, as outlined in our goals section, and to prepare for future growth. Our work in implementing these projects for results will be driven forward by the generous giving of people who share our vision and passion for helping this forgotten group of people.
God’s blessings through His people have allowed us to expand our ministry over the past thirteen years. We started small, only able to support a few colonies and only able to aid individuals who had contracted the disease. Since then, we have grown to serve 35 colonies, offering assistance both to those with leprosy and to their families.
It has been our privilege to be part of the life stories of the people of Tamil Nadu, and we want to continue to serve them to the best of our abilities.
We have identified five key areas of focus as we progress into our second decade of service:
For over a decade, our staff has witnessed Jesus Christ’s message of hope and healing in action as it meaningfully impacts the lives of those we serve. People’s spirits have been uplifted as they have received the physical and spiritual services they have so desperately needed. Inspired by transformations in their own lives, individuals have brought a sense of rejuvenation to their communities.
Our ministry is driven by the needs of these people, and it is our duty to act as their voice and to advocate for them in ensuring their needs are met. We have been fortunate to have received support from generous donors since the inception of EAV in 2003, and we would like to continue to partner with individuals who share our vision of seeing spiritual, physical, and social transformations in the lives of those affected by leprosy. We are establishing an internal team in the United States to grow sustainable giving, of which 100% will continue to be used toward our programs for those with leprosy and their families.
Our team’s focus will be to share some of the vibrant energy felt among the individuals and colonies of Tamil Nadu with those around the world. Through regular updates regarding the people we serve, we hope others who cannot be personally involved in our ministry can, at the very least, develop a connection with EAV through the stories we share.
We want to continue to provide the children in leprosy colonies with educational opportunities so that they may one day enter mainstream society. These opportunities include enrollment in our Little Lights program, the establishment of a school at our Little Lights campus, and the means to attend a university or trade school.
Increase Enrollment in Little Lights in Response to Demand from Parents
Our after-school and Little Lights programs have helped the children of those with leprosy to improve their grades in school. Many who have grown up in poverty with few opportunities available to them are now becoming equipped educationally to leave the colonies and join mainstream society.
Parents in the colonies welcome such opportunities for their children. They want them to have better lives than they have had. Although our after-school program is available to all children in the colonies and continues to be successful, parents are desperate to send their children to our Little Lights program because enrollment means their children will be removed from everyday life in the colonies. They will live outside of the colonies at our two-acre facility in Coimbatore, where they will have access to a quality education at a private school and encouraging support and attention from our staff.
With the recent expansion of our Little Lights campus, we are able to accommodate 200 children. We care for 35 children at this time, but with additional resources, we could operate at maximum capacity. Parents throughout the colonies in Tamil Nadu are praying their children will have the opportunity to be a part of our Little Lights program.
Establish a School at Our Little Lights Campus
Little Lights was built in an isolated, rural area of Coimbatore, but over time, the area has become more populated. Businesses have been established nearby, and impoverished families have constructed homes–mostly huts–near our campus. These families have been rejected by society because of their socioeconomic status. As there are no schools in the area, most of the children have no hope for earning an education. We would like to establish a fee-based school for these families. In doing so, we will fill an educational need for these children, generate financial support for our ministry, and create a prototype for a school for our Little Lights children.
Provide for Higher Education
Through our educational programs, children have become inspired by their own successes. Many want to attend a university or trade school. They have dreams of pursuing careers, of becoming doctors, lawyers, teachers, and pastors–just to name a few. They have come to realize and truly believe God has a purpose for their lives.
Children who entered our Little Lights program in its early stages are now approaching adulthood and will require financial support to continue their education. Higher education is vitally important for children who have grown up in leprosy colonies, as the opportunity to earn a degree is one of the most significant paths to breaking out of colony life and into mainstream society.
We are working to enhance the level of self-care among our patients. Part of this involves encouraging patients to be conscious of early signs of leprosy and having them teach their children the importance of disease awareness. The ability to recognize early indicators of the disease, which include patches of discolored skin with a loss of sensation (e.g., to temperature or touch), is crucial because treatment during early onset can prevent the permanent disabilities and disfigurement associated with more advanced stages of leprosy.
Self-care also includes taking medication and properly reapplying bandages as necessary between medical visits. This is important not only to keep patients healthy, but also to help increase their self-sufficiency and personal responsibility. By teaching patients these methods of self-care, we show them how they can help themselves. Some, who have learned to care for their own wounds, have begun administering bandage and wound care to others. It is a rewarding experience for them and a source of inspiration for others. It is our hope that this empowerment, in addition to our medical and spiritual services, will help patients to feel a higher sense of self-worth.
Demographic shifts have led to an increasingly larger number of aging adults with leprosy within the colonies we serve. These individuals are unable to care for themselves, and they often find themselves living in grim conditions without anyone to help them. As staff serve God by meeting the spiritual and physical needs of patients, hospice residents begin to feel a sense of dignity for the first time in their lives. The care they are given at our hospice center in Coimbatore is a real-life example of Jesus’ message in Matthew 25 when he says “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
We presently care for 44 individuals, but the need is much greater. Our hospice center currently is undergoing expansion, and the new space will allow us to accommodate a total of 60 individuals. The addition represents a 36% increase in capacity, which is greatly needed as the aging population continues to grow.
Recently, additional leprosy cases have been identified within towns and cities outside of colonies. Individuals who have contracted the disease in these environments tend to be kept hidden from view and often do not receive medical treatment because of the stigma the disease holds. This is unfortunate because early diagnosis and treatment are vital in preventing permanent disability and disfigurement.
While we consider our staff well-equipped to address leprosy cases within the colonies we serve, the growing concern outside of the colonies will require additional staff and resources. We are in the process of formalizing a training plan to reach out to these individuals so they may receive the help they need.
A Dollar Goes A Long Way In India, See The Impact Your Gift Can Have...
Specially crafted shoes are critical for ulcer prevention and wound care. Each shoe is made by our own shoe makers and fitted for each patient’s foot size and type of wound. Shoes are provided at no cost to the patient.
A Bible in the Tamil language is treasured by leprosy patients who are able to read and critical to a daily walk with God. For children and teens receiving their Bible gift is always a celebration.
10lb Bag of Rice
Embrace A Village strives to eliminate begging and in the process give aid to families who are directly and physically impacted by the presence of leprosy. We provide up to two weeks of support per month per family via our food pantry as well as encourage gardening and nutrition education.
Bandages are essential for wound cleaning and protection. Embrace Village provides a clean bandage as part of wound care plus gives patients bandages to care for their wounds between weekly clinics. Ointments, antibiotics, and other medicines for wound care and nursing tools are also essential to conduct weekly medical clinics.
Aids and Equipment
Mobility aids and hospice equipment includes crutches, hospital beds, wheelchairs. Mobility aids give the gift of getting about which we often take for granted. Hospital beds, especially in our hospice center, are needed to replace sleeping mats on a concrete floor.
Support A Team Member
We have many young adults volunteering to spend a significant amount of their lives in service caring and ministering to leprosy patients and their families. About a dozen have now been spending 8-10 hours most days working with patients and their children for over 5 years. Support is minimum wage even for India.
Support A Leprosy Victim
Many people like to direct their giving to a specific area. Each leprosy patient and their family have special needs for on-going care. Support can be for weekly clinical care overall or for specific needs like surgeries, their children’s school tuition or other mobility aids. Our services have helped greatly reduced the need for begging as well as restored hope to these individuals and their families.
Support A Village
Can you imagine being able to support an entire village of leprosy patients in India? You or a group of friends can provide the whole range of mercy services and ministries Embrace A Villages provides to a village. This includes the rice pantry, weekly medical services, after school children’s tutoring program, social services, weekly church services and additional Bible study groups.
ONE TIME GIFT