The Leprosy Mission

The Leprosy Mission (TLM) is an international Christian organisation which helps people affected by leprosy. Founded in 1874, The Leprosy Mission is the oldest and largest leprosy-focused organisation in the world today.

The Leprosy Mission Fellowship is an international federation of 28 Member countries which, through the TLM Charter, have made commitments to one another and to certain principles and ways of working. They consist of both ‘supporting’ (donor) countries and ‘implementing’ (field) countries – both equally valued Members and equal partners in the work and in ‘big-picture’ decisions about how The Leprosy Mission should function and develop.

Leprosy affects people’s lives in many different ways, so we care for their physical, social, spiritual and psychological needs. In our projects we concentrate on healthcare, community-based rehabilitation (CBR), prevention of disability (POD), advocacy, capacity building, education, stigma reduction and occasionally on disaster response and preparedness. Leprosy is not understood by most communities and as a result people are fearful of it, which means those affected by leprosy are often stigmatised.

We want to see a leprosy-free world. Our vision is for ‘leprosy defeated, lives transformed’. This is why our main focus is on leprosy work and not other areas of healthcare. However, our work often includes other marginalised people in society, those with severe disabilities or those living in extreme poverty.

TLM International operates as a central ‘hub’, providing co-ordination, facilitation and operational services in response to the stated needs of the Members. It has around 20 staff, most of whom work at the International Office in London, UK.

Around the world The Leprosy Mission has over 2,000 staff and implements or supports leprosy projects in more than 20 countries. The largest number of our projects is in India. There are also a significant number in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nigeria and Nepal. Increasingly the Mission seeks to work with partners rather than implementing projects directly. The gross annual income of the Mission is around £20 million, of which 75 percent comes through private donations and bequests and the rest from Governments and other institutional funders and from investments.

The Leprosy Mission is a member agency of ILEP (the international federation of anti-leprosy organisations), EU-CORD, IDDC (International Disability and Development Consortium), People in Aid, the Micah Network and BOND.