For most of my life I have been a supporter of the Pacific Leprosy Foundation. I have now forgotten how the relationship began. It was all so long ago.
The organisation has a down to earth simplicity and warm humanity, both of which appeal to me. They even understand architecture and urban design better than many architects do.
For example, the house built for Taurano in Kiribati in 2011 is elegant but minimalist. It has dignity but not ostentation. It is on village land so that she is near family members who can help them if necessary. It has a simple bathroom and water tank so that she no longer has to wash in the lagoon. The Foundation has also established a very small chicken farm so that she can be independent. Taurano had been badly affected by leprosy and her husband has had polio.
In effect the Foundation has given them both their lives back. None of the hundreds of people being paid enormous salaries to work for the Auckland Council seem to understand any of these things. Very few architects work at this elemental level.
In the midst of an insane New Zealand culture obsessed with the economy the Pacific Leprosy Foundation offers a wonderful ray of hope and sanity.
They understand the meaning of enough, They realise that architecture should set people free.
The photographs are borrowed from the February 2012 Newsletter of the Pacific Leprosy Foundation. Thanks.
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