My Week: Madhavi Sakuru is worried by a cyclone

The programmes officer of Lepra recounts her week

Madhavi Sakuru
Madhavi Sakuru

Monday: I have a meeting with the UK Coalition against Neglected Tropical Diseases, of which Lepra has become a member. This is an important step. Our membership means that we can contribute our experience and best-practice models to this partnership. It is good to share my experience of working with people marginalised by disabilities in India.

Tuesday: We're developing a proposal for a community-based health project in Bihar, one of the poorest states in India. I spend the day doing desk research while our team on the ground in Bihar is collecting primary data from communities and partners. It is becoming ever more challenging to raise money for projects in India, despite the fact that Bihar has a poverty index equal to some of Africa's poorest nations. Providing good data to make a compelling case for support is all the more important.

Wednesday: Today I'm at work with the fundraising team to develop a supporter appeal. We've had inspiring results from a project in Bangladesh, working with people with disabilities in rural areas to improve their opportunities and reduce poverty. We want to extend this and hope the appeal will help. We are focusing on the story of one man who needs to raise funds to start a village shop so he can earn enough to keep himself and his wife. His leprosy was undiagnosed for 30 years.

Thursday: Lots of coffee is required for work on a complex project budget. Lepra is coordinating a venture involving partners in Bangladesh, and today is the day to check the numbers add up. I also spend time working with our communications team on the January issue of Lepra News.

Friday: I make contact with our team in Odisha, India, because they have been hit by a cyclone. Thankfully, our staff are OK, although the office is flooded and they have had to relocate to the home of a staff member. But we're worried about the impact of the cyclone on the communities where we work, many of whom have lost everything. We need to use our funds to help them in the most efficient way.

Lepra is an international charity that fights disease, poverty and prejudice.

Madhavi Sakuru is programmes officer of Lepra

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