“I have one son and two grandsons, one is doing National Service. My son visits at the weekends. I’m happy to stay here; Mr. Francis [director SILRA; ed] is very sayang (kind), I’m very happy. I did have pain in my shoulder because I fell forward from my wheelchair while putting my clothes on a chair, and my shoulder hit a screw on the chair. Once I injured my leg from a broken windowpane, which bled fiercely. The pain is better now, I saw a doctor.
I can’t read or write, and because I can’t use my fingers I also can’t draw. Please could you draw flowers on my picture for me? Here and here, that’s all I want on the picture.”
Ng Muy is a resident of SILRA (Singapore Leprosy Relief Association), one of the charities that NCA has been supporting for years. One of the reasons we support SILRA is that they provide a home to people who have suffered from leprosy and whose families are unable to support them. In the past patients were sometimes put out on the street by their families, others lost the use of limbs and became unable to make their own living. Established in 1971, the home provides food, lodging, and recreation and healthcare services for ex-leprosy patients. The residents also learn handicraft skills and do rehabilitative work.
This photo was taken by Sasja van Vechgel, who created photo portraits of the SILRA residents as gifts for them, which they then decorated themselves with the help of Sasja, Esther and Pleun. While decorating they chatted to all the residents, extracting their stories and their thoughts on their portraits.