Letter from the
Executive Director

2017 marks the 125th anniversary of our work together! Entering this year, we see how God continues to graciously open doors that we could only have imagined in the intervening years. We celebrate the evolution of the care we have offered.

Read the Complete Letter


Letter from the
Chair of the Board

In 1892 the Watts family in Guelph, Ontario invited Wellesley Bailey, a young Irish missionary, to share his story with them. He described communities of men and women affected by leprosy, cast aside by their families and shunned by their community. His words: “if ever there was a Christ-like work in this world, it was to go among these poor sufferers and bring them the consolation of the Gospel.”

Read the Complete Letter

125 Years of
God’s Faithfulness

At the start, our work was palliative – kind and compassionate care for those who suffered the devastating effects of leprosy.

In the 19th century, families affected by leprosy gravitated to leprosy communities. Wellesley Bailey, the founder of The Mission to Lepers in 1892 writes of his first visit to a leprosy-affected community: “They were in all stages of the malady, very terrible to look upon, with a sad, woe-begone expression on their faces – a look of utter helplessness.” Leprosy robbed people of their hands, their feet and their eyesight. With no cure, and immense fear, men and women affected by leprosy had very few choices. The first missionaries, like Bailey, came to these men and women for two purposes: One, to care for them, giving them comfort and peace. Secondly, to offer the love of God and the hope of heaven.

The World Health Organization unveiled Multi-Drug Therapy, a cure for leprosy. For the first time in history leprosy could be cured! In the late 20th century our knowledge about leprosy and the way we approached treatment was transformed. Work intensified to help patients, their families and communities to understand that leprosy was not a life curse, but a disease. When cured, leprosy left no traces.

Today we continue to struggle to understand how leprosy is transmitted and why some people are at higher risk than others. In the first half of the 21st century we look forward to unravelling the last stubborn secrets of leprosy. As the research contributes to our medical knowledge, we know we can apply those learnings to Neglected Tropical Diseases that have many common characteristics to leprosy.

“The world thirsts for grace.
When grace descends, the world
falls silent before it.”

Philip Yancey
What’s So Amazing About Grace

“…if ever there was a Christ-like work
in this world, it was to go among
these poor sufferers and bring them
the consolation of the Gospel.”

Wellesley Bailey

“By mobilizing partners and
strengthening local capacity to
diagnose, treat, and monitor
diseases… eliminating NTDs within
our lifetime is possible.”

Uniting to Combat Neglected
Tropical Diseases, Fourth Report

Reaching the Vulnerable

Working together with generous and faithful Canadians to ensure that communities and people everywhere have access to a life free from curable diseases that isolate and impoverish.

effect:hope serves children and families in countries shackled by poverty. We reach people suffering with leprosy and other Neglected Tropical Diseases like Buruli ulcer, lymphatic filariasis and intestinal parasites. Here is a snapshot of the impact your gifts had in 2016.

6651People given assistive devices
551Children affected by leprosy helped to go to school
772People received leprosy-related surgery & follow-up treatments
87Other surgeries provided
2173People given the tools for self-care
173Self-help groups initiated
951Micro-finance gifts/loans granted
543People received training or support to earn a living
959451Children received deworming treatment & Vitamin A supplementation
4947Healthcare workers trained
6Leprosy transmission research grants given
635287Lives changed through hope and healing in 2016