The people of Malou live outside the embrace of Sudanese culture. The majority suffer from Leprosy.
Leprosy is a curable disease, but not in this part of the world where medical care is a luxury. Untreated, those with leprosy suffer numbness, debilitating muscles stiffness and eventual blindness. It’s difficult to carry out essential daily tasks like fetching water and tending crops. Yet the stigma Leprosy carries can be far more damaging. In Malou, 50 families have been touched by the disease. All of them were banned from the local water well. The next was 11 kilometres away. When they should have been in school, most children were hauling jerry cans of water for their families. For this village of outcasts, it was the only option. When we first heard of Malou, we imagined the worst—a dismal place without happiness or hope.
In fact, Malou is a joyful community. They sing, dance, tell stories, laugh. They are not ashamed of their illness, but proud to have overcome such staggering challenges. For many, this is the only place they have ever belonged. In October 2011, the Obakki Foundation drilled a water well. Now there is one less hardship to bear in Malou, one more reason to rejoice.
Music: Call and Answer by Jordan Klassen
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