News — March 08, 2017
JCI Brazil: A Nippon Foundation Grantee Story of Impact
During the 2015 JCI World Congress in Kanazawa, Japan, nearly 120 JCI National Organizations endorsed the Nippon Foundation’s 2016 Global Appeal to End Stigma and Discrimination Against Peopled Affected by Leprosy. Beyond bringing awareness to JCI’s young active citizens, the appeal encourages projects to be conducted in countries where leprosy still exists in order to achieve measurable results of impact toward eliminating discrimination.
JCI Brazil, JCI India, JCI Indonesia and JCI Nigeria have taken this appeal seriously, and with the support of the Nippon Foundation these organizations are creatively and passionately bringing awareness to this issue of stigmatization as well as changing the landscape of their countries.
As the only country in the world that has not yet achieved leprosy elimination1, JCI Brazil accepted the responsibility to educate and empower young active citizens to begin taking action on this issue. They heavily focused on sharing information about leprosy with their members at both national and local events, including the JCI Brazil National Convention in October of 2016, which was attended by nearly 400 participants who received a presentation regarding this issue. Afterward, JCI Brazil realized many of their members were either not previously aware of this issue or live in areas where leprosy is not a major concern. However, they were now inspired to take this information and begin to understand their own communities and what they can do at the local level to create positive impact and end the stigma for people affected by leprosy.
To create even great impact, JCI Brazil partnered with the nonprofit organization Morhan in order to better understand the disease and how it affects fellow Brazilians and developed a variety of tools and marketing materials, such as signs, shirts and buttons, to provide to their members to help create awareness in their communities throughout their country.
JCI Brazil is continuing to work to educate its own members and motivate them toward sustainable action. As JCI Brazil has learned more about the status of leprosy in their country, they better understand the challenges faced. For example, many remote parts of the country are still struggling to get
access to proper medication and health care. For this reason, JCI Brazil is working with local partners to create an additional project that would help provide health care to the areas of the country where it is needed most.
The Nippon Foundation has provided JCI Organizations around the world with the opportunity to take leadership in empowering young active citizens to better understand the challenges people affected by leprosy face and how to advocate for ending discrimination against them.
1 Elimination of leprosy is achieved when there is less than one case per 10,000 within the population.