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Let love come back – A visit to the village of lepers in Yunnan

People's Daily Online)  10:29, January 29, 2013  

Li Shiying, blind, comes out to enjoy the warm sunshine during the day.(Photo/Eastday)

Edited and translated by Huang Jin, People's Daily Online

Eight patients living in Leprosy Rehabilitation Village in Luquan county of Yunnan province have been separated from their parents and children for a long time. Although the recovered lepers are no longer contagious, they are still a taboo in the eyes of many people. Living in the village with beautiful landscape means being isolated and the fear and discrimination from their family and outside world are the most unbearable thing for them. The village where they live in is deliberately forgotten by the world.

Located in Luquan county of Kunming, the village was an abandoned nunnery and was turned to Leprosy Rehabilitation Center in 1953. It received more than 500 patients in peak time, then most of healers returned back home. Those who stay here at last are people who are not accepted by their family. They never return back to the normal world since they were ill.

Li Fen, 50, has worked as the nurse in the village since she was 17 years old. She helped the lepers work in field, feed animals, wash clothes and takes care of them when they are ill.

Li hasn't received any formal medical education. Since the village received the leprosy patients, she learned the leprosy knowledge by herself. She said: "I am destined to live my life here. As long as I am here, I'm going to let them live a life with sunshine."

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