Civil Society

A Disease as Old as Time – Eliminated but Not Eradicated

As the Executive Director of Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation (SMHF), Takahiro Nanri has been working on the issue of leprosy since 2014. Over the past few years, he has traveled across the world visiting the large number of leprosy projects that SMHF has been supporting and meeting dozens of organisations led by leprosy-affected people.

Q&A: Important to Treat Anyone Suffering from Leprosy as an Equal Individual

Discrimination against women who are affected by leprosy or Hansen's Disease is a harsh reality, says Alice Cruz is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members.

New Regional Secretariat to Advance Leprosy Advocacy in Asia

Organisations of people affected by leprosy in Asia have agreed to form a regional-level secretariat to support national advocacies and represent their collective agenda at a world conference to be held later this year.

Q&A: Leprosy-affected People Live Not at the Bottom, but Outside the Social Pyramid

Takahiro Nanri is the Executive Director of Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation which has been supporting the global fight against leprosy for almost five decades. Since 2014, Nanri has been leading the foundation’s leprosy projects across the world and has deep insights into the challenges faced by the people affected by leprosy as well as the organisations that work with them.

Healthy Oceans, Healthy Societies

Over recent years, there have been shocking reports of marine endangerment and plastic pollution. The threats are clear, and now urgent action is needed more than ever.

Hope Springs Once Again for Nigeria’s Returnee Migrants

Nigeria accounts for some of the largest number of irregular migrants trying to reach Europe from Africa.

International Women’s Day: Don’t Let Anyone Tell You How Far You Can Go

The data – with its sexism and its gaps – shows us that many of the barriers girls experience are determined merely by their gender. This inequality, present in all societies, is by far the most widespread bias. At Educo we are determined, like the women and girls we work with, to put a stop to this injustice. And not just on International Women’s Day March 8, but every day.

Individual Empowerment Still Important in Leprosy Groups’ Strategies

The tragic tale of Thobias Alexander Manas’s personal experience with leprosy is all too typical.

Living with Leprosy on the Climate-Vulnerable Kiribati Island Atolls

Kurarenga Kaitire lives in Kiribati—one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable nations. Already vulnerable to nature, the 29-year-old mother of five has faced a series of vulnerabilities over the past decade, including facing social stigma and domestic abuse.

Three Ex-UN Leaders Form Women’s Group to Save Multilateralism

As multilateralism takes a beating from President Trump amid the “new world disorder,” as one European diplomat put it, three women who know the United Nations inside and out through previous top leadership jobs have originated a Group of Women Leaders for Change and Inclusion.

Building Successful Social Enterprises

Marie Lisa Dacanay is the president of Manila–based Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia. With 20 years of experience in development management, social entrepreneurship and enterprise development, Dacanay is also a university professor and an acclaimed author with several books on social entrepreneurship in Asia.

Leprosy Survivor Creates Hope and Support for Others Affected by Disease

When Ariel Lazarte from Quezon City, Philippines, was first diagnosed with leprosy in 2014, his life seemed as if it were falling apart. But now more than four years later Lazarte’s life is a huge contrast from the poverty and isolation he experienced as a person affected by leprosy.

Q& A: We Need a Holistic Approach to Eradicate Leprosy

Dr. Maria Francia Laxamana is the Assistant Secretary in the Philippines ministry of health. With nearly two decades of  work both as a senior government official and also as an expert in several non-government organisations, Laxamana has deep insight into the issue of leprosy in this Southeast Asian nation and the challenges faced by those who are affected by the disease.

A Leprosy-free Philippines by 2020?

Dr Maria Francia Laxamana, assistant secretary of health in the Department of Health, Philippines outlines her recommendations for a leprosy country by 2020.

Capacity Building the Key to Fighting Leprosy

Strengthening the participation of persons affected by leprosy, or SPP, has proven to be an effective strategy in reaching out to often isolated sufferers in local communities throughout Asia. A significant challenge to civil society organisations, however, is finding enough management talent to maintain and expand the programmes.

Leprosy Detection With a Personal Touch

Jennifer Quimno could put anyone at ease. So when she travels across the Philippines as part of peer to peer programme that helps identify new leprosy cases, people generally allow her to examine them.

First Asian Leprosy Assembly Calls for Greater Social Inclusion for the Affected

Growing up in Kathmandu, Nepal, Amar Bahadur Timalsina wasn’t allowed to attend school as a young boy because he was affected by leprosy. But decades later, after treatment and being able to re-integrate into his community, the boy who was once denied an education is now inspiringly the principal of a school of 400 students.

A Global Imperative: Empowering Women is Critical for World’s Economy & People

March 8 marks International Women’s Day, which provides a chance to reflect on the struggle for greater gender equality. The roots of this annual event reach back more than a century, yet its focus on respect and opportunities for women remains strikingly relevant today—from sexual harassment and violence to unequal laws and unfairness in the workplace, where women are too often underemployed, underpaid, and underpromoted.

Education Key to Gender Equality in Asia & the Pacific

Equal rights have been demanded and promised for generations, but last year a shift occurred in the women’s movement. Across Asia and the Pacific and around the world, women demonstrated to condemn a status quo which continues to deprive too many women and girls of respect and equal opportunity.

Mauritius Scores Win over Britain in Diego Garcia Decolonisation

Mauritius has scored a victory over Britain at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a case involving the decolonisation of the strategically important island of Diego Garcia that is home to a United States military base.

Why West Craves Materialism & East Sticks To Religion

My generation grew up at a time when colonial hang up was at its peak. Our older generation had been slaves and had a huge inferiority complex of the British. The school I went to was similar to all elite schools in Pakistan.

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