Arati is eight years old. She lives in a country called Nepal. In Nepal many people work as farmers, looking after cows or growing food. Life can be quite hard as sometimes people don't have enough to eat and there aren't big supermarkets or shopping malls like the ones we have here.

If someone gets sick they may not always be able to find a doctor or have the money to pay to go to a hospital.

Arati lives in a small village. When she got sick, her mother took her on a bus to the nearest clinic – it took four hours to get there!

Arati has a disease called leprosy. It can be quite difficult for someone to know they have it as it requires a specially-trained doctor to spot. Arati noticed some funny-looking patches on her skin, and when she touched them they felt numb.

If leprosy is not caught early enough it can mean that people are unable to feel pain. What would happen if you touched a hot kettle without realising it was hot? You would pull your hand away very quickly because it hurts! But a person who has leprosy wouldn't know it was hot, they wouldn't have any pain, and they could end up burning their hand very badly.

At the clinic the doctors gave Arati medicine to make her well again. She has to take it for a whole year, but it will mean that she is completely cured!

The doctors are still a little bit worried about Arati because she has some signs that she has lost feeling in her hands and feet. She is also very thin. Her family are poor and they do not always have enough to eat. But, with the help of The Leprosy Mission, the clinic staff will do all that they can to help her.

The Leprosy Mission helps children like Arati by supporting special skin clinics like the one Arati and her mother attended. They also train doctors to spot leprosy. And they run projects to help people like Arati's mother gain new skills so they can earn enough to provide food, a home and education for their children.


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