The organization we visited, Damien House, is a charitable hospital and clinic that transforms the lives of patients with Hansen's Disease. Hansen's disease (formally known as leprosy) is now completely curable - but unfortunately it's past stigma means that many patients are cast out of their families and society. Damien House provides them with a place to live with dignity, and die with dignity. Many younger patients who have undergone the treatment have now returned to their families and lead completely normal lives. Damien House provides care to the patients, but also receives many groups like ours throughout the year in hopes to continue to the spread awareness about Hansen's Disease.
Our students first received a tour and a talk about how the organization began, as well as a talk on what is Hansen's. Then we had a chance to spend the rest of the day with the patients, getting to know them and assisting in their daily lives. In the men's section the students were fascinated by one man who makes string bags, while another group of students spent hours playing dominos.
|Gathered around, watching the master at work!|
All in all it was a great day. Due to the size of our group and the organization we've broken into 3 groups. This Saturday it's group number 2's turn!
|Joel, center in the Starfish shirt, was a great leader in starting conversation and really getting to know the patients!|