Rotary Club of Reading


Ali Clark-Morris

Ali Clark-Morris

On Tuesday 19th September 2017 our invited speaker was Ali Clark-Morris. Ali is a fully qualified Podiatrist. Her work and small business here in the UK is treating foot problems and this led her onto a two-week trip to a Leprosy Colony in Delhi, India, called the Village of Hope. The village was built and the services are supplied to residents by the charity Hope Worldwide.
Leprosy is a disease that affects peripheral nerves and therefore causes numbness in hands and feet. This leads to infection and ulcers if not treated.
The first very basic buildings for this village in 1992 had no sanitation or basic living needs but served only to isolated those suffering from Leprosy from the rest of the community. Then 90% of the Leprosy patients had to beg to survive, in 1993 HOPE Worldwide started work there rebuilding the site. Today in 2017, there are 800 living homes and 90% of the sufferers there have been trained to self-help and run small businesses and trades within the village. Children go to school. Only 5% beg for a living now.
When Ali arrived with her friend, Marian, they helped in a small clinic where a young man Raju had been working in the bandaging units for a few years to try to heal the foot ulcers of the Leprosy patients. He had had little training and with very basic equipment, he had done a great job in cleaning wounds and bandaging feet to protect them. Raju is a previous sufferer of Leprosy but had been fortunate enough to be given the highly successful treatment of MDT drugs (Multi Drug Therapy) soon after his diagnosis and that has cured him. Though he could not read or write Ali managed to train him and work alongside him in the clinic and they made great progress. Raju works there now with an assistant to help him after Ali returned to the UK. She is returning to the village in the New Year and will take out further medical supplies for Raju and hopefully open another small clinic for women. There needs now? A new roof and running water. On her wish-list are a Ladies Clinic and a steriliser. We hope Ali returns to update us, after her next trip.

Related links

• The Village of Hope Download >