FEB 2024




New Hope Rural Leprosy Trust – working for change, reaching out with care and education.

For me as the Director and speaking for the New Hope Trustees and Staff, the Facebook picture alongside from Deanne, Friends of New Hope Australia’s Secretary, says it all.This India – Australia friendship will have been sustained for 20 years in October. It cannot be measured in individual achievements but by the simple fact that it reaches out and has impacts that are at times truly unimaginable – even for me. The words ‘leprosy’, ‘education’ and ‘disability’ are part of New Hope Trustee’s own life experiences. Eliazar T RoseDirector, New Hope India


We are so thankful to all who through sponsorship make care and education of the children and young people with us possible.
Raju (right) who came to us as a baby with impaired vision, is now at college. Sunitha with a background that cannot be expressed in truth – it’s all behind her now, her goal is to study Nursing at college.

The journey of life for all of these young people did not start with a smooth path. Beverley Selten, Friends of New Hope Australia’s Chairperson (pictured left with Sunitha) learnt this again on her last visit.


Namaste House is home for our challenged young people.The old photo above was like the symbol of Namaste House. The children, when first seen by our late Maggie sister, devastated her. The house and children were one of her first fund raisers.Funds were raised for corrective surgery in Visakhapatnam. Then through a Rotarian friend, funds were raised for the first ever vaccination storage facility in Odisha – a solar powered freezer for polio vaccines – as was the need in those days. We had long eradicated it prior to India being ‘Polio Free’.During all of this we also accepted – out of sheer compassion – children with serious challenges. So challenged that many families literally just abandoned them.


Limma came to us as a ‘nothing boy’, abandoned – in real terms – and was given to us as a ‘burden’. Yet he adjusted, slowly coping with his situation. The woman who really ‘made him’, his Care Person, gave up her own family time for many years.


Some might say Chikki exists in her own self but in real terms she has far more ‘going on’ than the casual observer sees. Recently, her long time sponsor sent some gifts (thank you Michael). From being with her we understood she comprehended.


New Hope suffered at many different levels during and as a result of Covid, as well as two extremely hot summers. Our green projects simply deteriorated and staffing was a serious problem.At the bottom of it all was the stress of not having our water system in order as it had previously been. However now, through a generous donor, we have come to a point where we will be back to being far more self-sufficient short and long term. Tony Selten (pictured below), a regular long time visitor (with his wife Beverley) put it all in order. We will never face the water storage issues and impact of a lack of workers with the irrigation system Tony has installed. Tony involved all of the senior boys and there is no doubt that they learnt – from hands on work – skills that will stay with them. Simple skills to make minor repairs is really not embedded in our society. Few families or homes have basic tools for minor repairs. The concept of ‘handy person’ is not there but our seniors now have seen and learnt so much.


Since our last newsletter, we have been able to gift three bicycles to senior students. These bikes improve student’s and other’s day to day life. The ‘Milk Boy’ bike is used by whoever takes our morning surplus milk to the nearby Milk Depot.

Side note: a well known New Hope child to all visitors, Vasu was accepted into a mini village Vet Course by the recognised Visakaka Dairy Institute (and despite having a speech impediment, he passed fifth year high school).Vamsi lives and cares for his aged Gran, who is blind and, at 85 years (or so), ‘too old’ to have cataract eye surgery. He saves three hours and Rs150 a day in getting to College.

Ram works in the early morning grazing neighbours goats, before walking or hitching rides to junior College. He now rides a bike to and from home, where he lives with his Grandmother.This care for young people at home is the responsibility of Ramu, our in the city in charge.To all who gave funds for bicycles – thank you.


When New Hope made the move from Jeevan Jyothi Home in Vizianagaram to Kothavalasa there was a separate room for a group of 10th Class students. In those days, circa 2008, 10th Class was almost the ultimate level of education due to the social and financial situation of many families. Our 10th Class had many students who were from leprosy colony backgrounds.

If I say that today it is difficult to get girls into Nursing with a scholarship at a Government District Hospital – it’s nothing compared to back when we started. The girls needed much more than just a good mark – with exams and tests that were hard to imagine.
Two women, Maggie Sister from Australia and Elizabeth Toon from the United Kingdom, gave and raised funds many times to ensure that funds were made available for senior girls wishing to become nurses.
Now, motivated by many factors including recent fundraising events such as the Christmas markets in Broome (see below), we are marking funds for Nursing Scholarships. These funds will ensure we are ready for the always hoped for ‘accepted for nursing’ letter. When a senior girl gets this letter, New Hope have (like all selected for the year by the Government) 24 hours to be ready, including with fees, uniforms and certified certificates.
In 2023 we have been so fortunate to have two seniors admitted. There are now three nurses in training, including Parvithra who is doing a Primary Health Care course; Renuka who has now completed and is waiting appointment; and Babi who completed her course and is engaged in employment. Babi is also enrolled for higher Nursing skills (Bachelor of Nursing). All require financial assistance.
The situation has changed a lot as of 2024 but it is still not an easy admission. More girls are educated in reality and so the number of applicants increase, maybe four fold.
Would you like to give towards supporting nursing scholarships? Contact newhopeindia@live.com


Funds raised by the Broome Sip and Shop Christmas Markets in its second year allowed New Hope to supply many more Love Bundles to those with great need. Love Bundles not only meet the immediate needs of people but show love. As the event was so successful, New Hope has been able to implement the Maggie Sister Nursing Fund for our young women pursing nursing careers. Thank you Broome!Maggie lived in Broome for many years and it’s a tribute to her and her community that this fund be set up in her name. Maggie’s work with New Hope, in leprosy colonies, with children disabled by polio and others, earnt her an OAM. Her dream and vision was for senior girls to have an opportunity to become nurses. The many thanks include Lisa and Craig Spicer for their organization of the event, and Ian McConnell for donating an artwork for use in fundraising.

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