Between January 27th - 29th, 2017; Members and families of JCI Eko gathered in the city of Lekki, Lagos for their annual family retreat and OTS programme; which among the key highlights of the event was a community Social Responsibility Awareness project geared at creating conducive environment for people affected by leprosy, educating all stakeholders to play an important role, and advocating non-stigmatization of the leprosy patients.
The Awareness campaign was activated at the Atican Beach, Lekki which averagely have a huge population of patronisers. Families of JCIEko Members and the Children participated in this campaign.
This is to commemorate the collaboration between JCI Nigeria and NIPPON foundation on a nation-wide campaign to educate the people on the discrimination and stigma faced by individuals affected by leprosy. This is in line with 2016 NIPPON Foundation global appeal, #thinkleprosynow campaign.
The #THINKLEPROSYNOW campaign is not just to give the patients food and clothing materials, but to bring the message of non-stigmatization to the footstep of everybody. The campaign hopes to educate the following facts about leprosy that : Leprosy is caused by a germ, It is not hereditary, It is curable, the earliest sign of leprosy is a skin patch with loss of feeling, it is transmitted from one person to another by a patient who is not on treatment, patients who are on treatment or have completed treatment are no longer a danger to the public, treatment is available in every LGA and is free of charge, show love and care for people affected by leprosy just as you care for all others who are ill, stop the stigma and discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and finally , nobody should be called a leper.
JCI Eko further took this awareness campaign to the social media through their facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter on Janaury 29th, 2017 which marks the World Leprosy Day. With this, the Chapter have taken action with like-minded organizations in local communities to raise our voices against stigma and discrimination faced by people living or who have been affected by leprosy across all sectors.
JCIEko President, Ayodele Fumi; made a call to all Nigerians to identify with the organization by joining efforts to restore hope and dignity to people living with leprosy and how they should be perceived in the community.