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Dr Graeme honoured in Australia Day honours

Congratulations to our very own Dr Graeme Clugston, Medical Director at Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital, Nepal.

Dr Graeme has been awarded AO ‘for distinguished service to medicine, and to the international community of Nepal, particularly to people with leprosy, and to global health and nutrition’…

In the Australia Day Honours 2016 under the Order of Australia, Officer (AO) in  the General Division.

Dr Graeme, smiling, as always.
Dr Graeme, smiling, as always.
Dr Graeme and his wife Nurse Meena
Dr Graeme and his wife Meena

Extract from ABC news service:

‘The Australia Day 2016 honours list recognises more than 800 Australians across a wide range of professions and industries, from all states and territories.

Often, the best thing about the awards is the way they shine a spotlight on those who quietly do remarkable things to assist others.

Dr Graeme Clugston is a great example.

Clugston is the Medical Director at the very busy Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital in southern Nepal.

The hospital where he works is one of the world’s busiest leprosy hospitals’. RN Breakfast.

Listen to a podcast of Dr Graeme’s interview with Fran Kelly on RN Breakfast.


The difference a donor makes

In April 2014 an Irish family generously donated funds for materials to rebuild a permanent 2 room school in Lal Busti village in rural south eastern Nepal. They also paid for new uniforms and school books.

The original school building was made from mud and bamboo and required rebuilding each year after the monsoon (see photo on right). The top image was taken in April 2015 in a new brick building and with new uniforms and books. The villagers built the school themselves under the guidance of the village development committee. And what a transformation: don’t the photos say it all?

La Busti's new school in April 2015.
La Busti’s new school in April 2015.
Lal Busti village school in April 2014, prior to rebuilding.
Lal Busti village school in April 2014, prior to rebuilding.
Lal Busti village school, April 2015.
Lal Busti village school, April 2015.
Lal Busti village school, April 2014.
Lal Busti village school, April 2014.

For further updates see our current newsletter here

Happy New Year 2016

A huge thank you for all your wonderful support during 2015.             It has been a challenging year for everyone in Nepal. Our colleagues in Lalgadh have sent us on this lovely photo and greeting.

Community outreach teams and medical staff, Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital Dec 2015
Community outreach teams and medical staff, Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital Dec 2015


‘Striving to shine the Christmas Light of love, compassion, help and healing all year round to the desperately needy in the Himalayan heights and foothills of Nepal – that’s the “strive” of Nepal Leprosy Trust – Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital and Services Centre (NLT/LLSC) during 2015.

It’s been a struggle with earthquakes, floods (of leprosy and needy patients), landslides, delivering emergency relief – food, warmth and shelter – to thousands of hungry destitute remote mountain-area families, hindered and blocked by strikes, political violence, busy busy hospital work, helping sick children, and collapsed schools, and always more and more leprosy and sick poor needy patients, young and old ….

Striving to reach out all year with that Christmas Light and flame of compassion and love, bringing healing, wholeness, help, survival, restoration, to many thousands – leprosy affected, and other poor, needy and marginalised folks.

All enabled by heart-warming encouragement, support, prayers and partnership of caring generous churches and dear friends and noble organisations … All of us working together bringing this Light to the desperately needy and sick in this poor dark difficult (but beautiful) Himalayan part of the world.

Christmas love and greetings to you all’  from Dr Graeme Clugston, Medical Director at Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital and Services Centre.

Relief aid continues

We got great news this morning 12th December 2015: our hospital in Nepal have received some diesel fuel and are already on the road delivering much needed earthquake relief aid again. See more below.

Basheswar school, Class 1, Dec. 2015.
Basheswar school, Class 1, Dec. 2015.
Basheswa temporary school for Class 5, with the teacher.
Basheswa temporary school for Class 5, with the teacher.

BasheswaClass 5 students - in their tent classroom

‘The strike, political violence and blockages have tragically prevented most relief work in Nepal for the last 3 months. Now the Himalayan winter is here – it’s cold and getting colder. Yesterday (Thursday 10 Dec), by some extraordinary means, we got some diesel-fuel – enabling us to resume urgent earthquake relief work. 

The fuel enabled us to go yesterday up over the Sindhuli mountains to (a) visit some earthquake affected schools we’ve been waiting/wanting to assist, and (b) deliver 800 blankets to 2 very poor earthquake-devastated communities.

Facts: – remember? – the massive earthquakes earlier this year … wrecked most of Nepal’s schools – 48,000 classrooms destroyed or damaged, 20,000 classrooms requiring demolition and reconstruction, 999,000 students out of school, another 440,000 students affected adversely …that was the immediate impact of the earthquakes in April, May and the subsequent 408 aftershocks up till today (24 November)’.

Thank you to Dr Graeme for the update and for the lovely photos. Well done and safe travelling.

Tax back

Thank you to our wonderful donors who have enabled us to receive €2,505 in tax back for 2014 from their generous donations to Nepal Leprosy Trust (NLT) Ireland. As a registered charity NLT is able to claim the tax back from the government on all individual donations which exceed €250 in a year. As a donor you simply need to return a form giving us permission to claim the tax back for your donations.

€2,505 received in tax back for 2014, on your donations. Thank you.
€2,505 received in tax back for 2014, on your donations. Thank you.

Borders: an artist’s impression

‘I’ve never been to Kathmandu, but thanks to NLT’s fundraising exhibition “Borders: from Kathmandu to Kerry and Beyond”, two of my photographs have. I didn’t see the whole exhibition until it came to the Arthouse in Co Laois, by which time it had hung in Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital in Nepal and in Cill Rialaig Arts Centre on the coast of Kerry. Almost, you could see the journey the works had made.

Bridge, Dechen Shying, photographic print by Sharon Hogan
Bridge, Dechen Shying, photographic print by Sharon Hogan

All the works exhibited were roughly of the same size and hung in two rows, one above the other. Walking along the white walls of the Arthouse gallery and corridor felt nearly like looking through a series of windows, at landscapes and people and colours from the private worlds of each of the contributing artists. On one side of the gallery, through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the Arthouse itself, green grass and Irish weather told us where we physically were; but opposite them, through the window of each small art-piece, we could take imaginative journeys to Himalayan mountains, Irish country sides, children on glinting seashores, dancing women against sunsets, watery flowers, vibrant colour-splashes and black & white silhouettes. It was a joyous and joyful celebration of difference and unity: playful artists from differing backgrounds hanging side-by-side in order to raise money for one serious disease: leprosy.

I’m told that as little as four euro is all it costs to make a pair of bespoke shoes for people whose feet no longer feel the earth due to the nerve damage leprosy can cause, that six euro can sponsor an overnight bed for someone who has travelled many miles to receive hospital treatment; that a well and a pump can be built for 250 euro and a two-roomed village school can be built from just 1,000 euro. Thanks to the generosity of people who bought our work at the various exhibitions, it’s possible that close to 450 pairs of shoes might have been made and distributed, or that 600 people slept in hospital beds before journeying home after treatment, or that perhaps 15 wells were built, or at least three village schools. It’s deeply satisfying. I make a piece of work; someone likes it and welcomes it into their home somewhere in Ireland; and someone in Nepal who is living with leprosy has a night’s rest, puts on their shoes and goes home to their village where water flows and their children go to school. It’s that simple. It’s that direct.

The theme of the exhibition was “Borders”. Sometimes it feels as if there are no such things’.

Blog by artist Sharon Hogan Oct 2015.

Sharon Hogan and Vera McEvoy, Arthouse. Co. Laois.
Sharon Hogan and Vera McEvoy, Arthouse. Co. Laois.


Borders lll exhibition in the Arthouse.
Borders lll exhibition in the Arthouse.



Art works

It certainly has for NLT. The project ‘Borders: from Kathmandu to Kerry and Beyond’ has raised more than €3,000 for NLT’s work in Nepal.

Can you react before an act? You’d think so, from the timing of the project’s three art exhibitions. The first, in Kathmandu at Easter, escaped the first earthquake by two weeks. The second, at the beginning of May in Kerry, drew big crowds and donations.

At the opening of the third exhibition in Stradbally, County Laois, visitors brought their own stories of Nepal. Some had backpacked in the Himalayas, some supported educational charities and one tough cookie had hitched a lift through the mountains into Tibet. All shared a love of the country and its beautiful people. And they proved it with their purses; many artists gave all the money from their sales to NLT.

Huge thanks to everyone who attended and supported the exhibitions. By Debbie Thomas.

Relief Aid Still Needed

Don’t forget Nepal – many thousands still need food and shelter.

As the world’s attention has sadly moved away from Nepal and its massive earthquake disaster 3 months ago, there are still hundred’s of thousands still in need of basic food, blankets, tarpaulins and shelter-building materials.

Syaule_Sindhupalchowk22nd August

Relief has still not reached many remote communities. They need this help to survive through the current monsoon with its rainfall and landslides, and then the cold Himalayan winter in the coming months.

The Nepal Leprosy Trust (NLT) has a particular advantage in carrying out this urgent earthquake relief work. Being a Nepali NGO with a trusted reputation, NLT has been able to get access to remote difficult areas where government relief has not reached, and other agencies – even the big ones – are unable or unwilling to go.

Thank you for the worldwide support we have received to date. Here is a summary of emergency relief delivered by NLT so far: 

– 6,925 families provided with relief 

– 38,452 people provided with relief 

-276.8 tons of relief delivered

Relief materials: rice, lentils (dal), oil, salt, sugar, warm blankets, and quilts, Tarpaulins, Building materials (zinc sheets) for shelters.

Photos below  show the delivery of ‘zinc sheets’ (galvanised corrugated iron) to communities in Syaule VDC in Sindhupalchowk District in northern Nepal, not far from the Tibetan border.

Each family receives 14 zinc sheets – enough for a total shelter – (very heavy – each sheet weighs 9.25 Kg). Try carrying that on your head.  

Extract and images  from an update by Dr Graeme Clugston, Medical Director, NLT’s Lalgadh Leprosy Services Centre, 22nd August.

Syaule_Sindhupalchowk Syaule VDC in Sindhupalchowk Syaule,Sindhupalchowk

Corsets and all

        My friends and I love the chance to dress us, so Nepal Leprosy Trust’s (NLT’s) Vintage Afternoon Tea Party at the Celbridge Manor Hotel was the perfect opportunity. We thought we were doing well with our 1960s flowery outfits and hairbands but the Irish Historical Costumers stole the show in their hand-made Victorian costumes. They wore bonnets, bodices, corsets and all. The tables were as colourful as the clothes. Éclairs, iced cakes, scones and biscuits stood on tiered stands and hotel staff, also in vintage dress, served endless cups of tea.

            We enjoyed ourselves so much, chatting to people about their costumes and walking in the beautiful hotel grounds. The Nepali Handicraft stand and raffle were a great way to raise interest in Nepal. Vera’s speech reminded us of the cause and encouraged people to support NLT, especially in the aftermath of the earthquakes. We all had a brilliant time and would gladly come to another fundraiser. By Emily Thomas, age 16.

tea party15 LoRes_6

tea party15 loRes_5

Photos: by Emily Thomas. June 2015
Photos: by Emily Thomas. June 2015