“I’ve been here for three years and before that I lodged with my brother. My leprosy started late, I took medicine on time, so there are no disabilities. What are my favourite things to do? I like many things, durian and fruits, kopi and roti, rolling cigarettes, eating fruit candies. Sometimes I go out and buy food. I like to eat and enjoy watching TV. I like my picture, but I don’t know how to write.”
Poh Ah Sai 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.