Psychological and Social Empowerment

IDEA operates on the principle that the stigma associated with leprosy and the accompanying social isolation will only be eliminated when those who have personally experienced this disease regain the identity, self-confidence and dignity that is all too often taken away by the disease and society's treatment of them.

Whether the self-confidence comes from speaking in front of a group for the first time or sitting next to a government official at a workshop, becoming self-supporting through an economic opportunity, having one's child attend school, or believing that there will indeed be a future and that it will be brighter if disabilities are prevented, self-confidence is crucial to getting rid of the stigma.  

"To get rid of the stigma, we have to have self-confidence first."

-- Cheng Li Wang, China  


Chen Guan Zhou speaks at IDEA's first International Workshop, Guangzhou, China, 1996.  To Mr. Chen's right is Dr. Yang Lihe, IDEA Coordinator for China, and Kong Hao Bin.  Photo by Pamela Parlapiano


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