A leprosy village in India
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Support from Austria
Mag. Claudia Vilanek

Claudia, who was born in 1964 in Innsbruck, Austria, is a psychologist and communication trainer and has three sons, who accompany her on her trips abroad. Since her first longer visit when she was 18 years old, she has returned regularly to Little Flower and supported the project with donations from Austria.
Claudia Vilanek

In 1985 she received the Eduard Wallnöfer Award for "the most courageous initiative for the good of Tirol" and in 1988 she was granted the Bruno Kreisky Award for her work and dedication to and furthering of human rights.

"The address I had in my pocket was that of Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and the motivation for my trip was, on the one hand, to see how far I could extend myself and, on the other, to explore life by getting to know people who had none of the things that I took for granted where I had grown up: safety and security, enough to eat and drink, and being surrounded by nice and pleasant things. I wanted to know what kept people going when they didn’t have any of this. I thought to myself that this is what the essence of life must be about. What motivation do the people in the streets of Calcutta still have? What is the essence of life?

The answer is simple: above all it is the longing for relationship and a sense of belonging. This became very clear to me in the months that I spent in Sunderpur at the border between India and Nepal.

Here in this small community of crippled people I found such strength and a love of life despite the cruelty of this disease because these people were embedded in a close-knit, caring relationship system and through Brother Christdas’ support were able to lead a life free of humiliation and discrimmination.
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