Welcome to Kasturi Kilaru
World Leprosy Day update Voices for change
Kasturi Kilaru has joined as Head of Fundraising at LEPRA Society India. Kasturi holds an MBA in International Business; an MSc in Molecular Biology & Genetics and Biotechnology; and an MA in English Literature. Kasturi also has experience of working in a variety of industries, ranging from Cancer Research, to Nutraceuticals and now Pharmaceuticals, bringing a wealth of knowledge to LEPRA Society. “I love meeting new people, developing new relationships, building and managing teams, solving problems and contributing to the overall growth of a business”. We are very pleased to have Kasturi join our team in this important position and we look forward to working with her.
In this issue Page 3
Building a mentally healthy workforce
95 years of working to beat leprosy
Join in the conversation on social media: LepraUK
Pictured on the front cover is Sajeran from Bangladesh. You can read more about her story on page 8.
On Wednesday 30th January 2019, Lepra partnered with Cantata Dramatica to bring together an evening of contemporary choral music hosted by London’s St Stephen Walbrook church for World Leprosy Day 2019. A sold out crowd witnessed the performance, which featured the world premiere of Nick Bicat’s ‘Akathistos’, a dramatic retelling of the famous Orthodox Hymn that saved Byzantium from the Persian Siege in 626AD. It was a fantastic evening consisting of beautiful excerpts from the Cantata Dramatica chorus, led by James Potter, soloists, the Community Choir of St Stephen Walbrook, and featured dancers from Middlesex University, choreographed by Siân Hopkins. In attendance was guest speaker Roger Right, CEO of Snape Maltings and the Aldeburgh Music Festival who spoke about his experience with leprosy. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who performed or came along to support such a wonderful cause! Your generosity in time and money managed to raise over £2,500! We have collected over 748 signatures for the “I am not my disease, don’t call me a ‘leper!” petition. The petition has been sent to the UN Secretary General to highlight the discrimination and prejudice those with leprosy still face and to bring about important changes to the language used about leprosy.