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About this project

Q&A on Hansen's Disease



The Leprosy Project
The Leprosy Project Limited ('TLP'), runs the leprosy rehabilitation project in Liangshan Prefecture, Sichuan Province, PRC with the support of the Liangshan Prefecture Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (‘CDC’). TLP is a charitable institution in Hong Kong governed by a board of directors who are all volunteers. Board meetings are held at least quarterly and board visits to Liangshan at least half-yearly. Project activities are executed by full-time staff in the Mainland and in Hong Kong, supported by volunteers from time to time. Liangshan is one of the remaining pockets of leprosy, i.e. Hansen's disease, in Mainland China. Most of the people affected by leprosy, whom we call ‘PAL’, have physical disabilities, and need constant medical attention to improve their condition. The main aims of the project are to improve the early detection of leprosy, to prevent the disease and to provide training and self help guidance to the PAL. There are programmes covering psychological and social rehabilitation, economic rehabilitation and education in addition to medical and health care. The project covers nine leprosy villages; which are Xide, Ganluo, Puge, Butuo, Jinyang, Huili in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture; Yanbian in Panzhihua, Muli in Muli Prefecture and Luding (Moxi) in Ganzi Prefecture has been newly added to the list. There are approximately 1,700 villagers in these villages, of whom 320 are affected by leprosy.



Board of Directors


Mr. Tony Leung, business owner

Mr. Leung is the current Chairman of The Leprosy Project and has been serving as its Director of Finance for nine years. He was born and raised in Hong Kong and received his BA from the University of Wisconsin. He owns and manages Sapphire International Limited which specialises in the design and manufacture of organic cotton terry products. Previously he worked for the International Organization for Migration as the Administration and Finance Manager in Manila, Philippines. He has also volunteered with several NGOs including Refugee Concern, the Hong Chi Association, and the Pam Baker Foundation. He is an active member of the Rotary Club of Quarry Bay.


Mr. Peter Barrett, retired

Mr. Barrett was the Founding Chairman of The Leprosy Project and currently serves as Deputy Chairman and Chairman of the Fundraising Committee. He ran his own management consultancy, Organisation Development Ltd, helping family firms professionalise. He designed and ran the first HK Institute of Directors (HK IOD) courses in corporate governance. He still acts in an advisory capacity to the HKID (which he helped found) as an Honorary Council Member. He has also served on numerous professional boards and continues to design and facilitate corporate governance conferences for the Malta Branch of the UK IOD.



Mr. C. Peabody Hutton, lawyer

Mr. Hutton is the Board’s Secretary and a member of its Fundraising Committee. He has lived and worked as a lawyer in Hong Kong for over 33 years, the last six as a Partner and the General Counsel of Orion Partners LP, an Asia-based, Asia-focused alternative investment firm. He was previously in private practice with international law firms in Hong Kong and New York. He received his JD, MBA, MA and BA with Honors from the University of Virginia in the United States. He is admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong and as an attorney in the State of New York. He has been the head of the University of Virginia Club in Hong Kong for many years and serves on the Chapel Committee of St. Stephen’s Chapel in Stanley, one of the Project’s principal donors.


Dr. Theresia Liem, physician

Dr. Liem is the Medical Director of The Leprosy Project. She directs the medical program together with the Board, providing guidance, training for staff and quality assurance for the Leprosy Projects prevention of disability work following WHO guidelines. She has over 29 years of clinical experience. She has held a number of positions as Physician and as a Specialist, Chef de Clinique and Consultant in the field of intern medicine and clinical oncology in the Netherlands. Since being in Hong Kong, she has been involved in research and teaching as a Visiting Scholar at the Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Dr. Liem achieved her Doctor of Medicine Degree from Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She has been trained as an Internist at the University Hospital Maastricht and has been trained and served as a specialist-Oncologist and a Haemato-Oncologist at the Dr. Daniel den Hoed Cancer Centre, Erasmus Medisch Centrum in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. During her spare time Dr. Liem works as volunteer medical coordinator of the Matilda Children’s Foundation.



Mr. Nicholas Pirie, barrister

Mr. Pirie is one of the founders of The Leprosy Project and has been involved with the organisation for the last 17 years as the main fundraiser and Rotary District Co-ordinator. He took his first trip to Sichuan in 2000 to see first- hand the living conditions of the people affected by leprosy and has visited numerous times since then. He has been practising as a barrister in Hong Kong since 1976, concentrating, on land, insurance, professional negligence and damages issues. He is a member of the Hong Kong Bar Association and serves on their Legal Aid, Insurance and Personal Injuries Committees. Mr. Pirie was President of the Rotary Club of Hong Kong South in 2008 and has been involved in various charities in Hong Kong for over 35 years, including Christian Children’s Fund, the Mentally Handicapped Association of HK, HK Children & Youth Services and the RSPCA.


Mr. John Bowden, architect

Mr. Bowden serves on the Fundraising Committee for The Leprosy Project. John was born and raised in Hong Kong and trained in architecture and design in Britain. He currently works as Cisco Systems’ Manager for Workplace Design and Development recognizing the need for humanity in the work environment and gives oversight to all Cisco’s office developments in the region. He is active in community and environmental work, with particular emphasis on shoreline protection and architectural preservation, and is an active member of the Rotary Club of Quarry Bay.



Mr. Malcolm Kemp, solicitor

Mr. Kemp is currently the senior partner of the firm Stephenson Harwood in Hong Kong. His wife, Elizabeth, has had a long history with the Leprosy Project, accompanying many expeditions to Sichuan. Malcolm was brought up in Nigeria, but returned to England to take a place at Keble College, Oxford University to study Jurisprudence. On obtaining his BA and an Oxford University “Blue” in Judo, he joined the firm Richards Butler, but came to Hong Kong in 1982 to work with Baker & MacKenzie. In 1989 he moved to his present firm, Stephenson Harwood.

Mr. Julian Marland, professional fundraiser for the not-for-profit sector

Mr. Marland serves as an advisor for the Fundraising Committee. Before coming to Hong Kong he worked in London for the British Museum and was the Development Director for the South Bank Centre. He also spent nine years as a fundraising consultant, advising clients in Europe and Asia. Based in Hong Kong since 2008, he was running his own fundraising consultancy, Brakeley Asia, before joining the Canadian International School as Director of Development in August 2012. He has an MA from Oxford University and an MBA from London Business School. He is a member of Rotary Club of Shouson Hill.



Mr. W.Bernie Ting, manufacturer

Mr Ting is one of the founding directors of The Leprosy Project and has been active in raising funds for the Project through the Rotary Club of Hong Kong South. He is the Director & General Manager at Qualidux Industrial Company Limited. He received his degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Toronto, Canada, and obtained his MBA at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA. He worked briefly in Canada before returning to Hong Kong. Since then he has had a successful career in the toy industry. He is Chairman of the Hong Kong Toys Council, the Hong Kong Q-Mark Council, and also serves on a number of industry councils as part of his public duties in Hong Kong. He is currently an active member of the Rotary Club of Hong Kong South.


Mr. Jim Wardell, chartered accountant

Mr. Wardell is the Deputy Chairman of the Fundraising Committee. He has 30 years of experience in Hong Kong forensic accounting, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and insolvency. He serves on several councils and tribunals including the Hong Kong Institute of Directors since 1997, the Market Misconduct Tribunal (appointed by the Financial Secretary since 2008), the Deposit Protection Appeals Tribunal (appointed by the Chief Executive since 2005) and the Advisory Council of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre since 1998. His is also a Chairman of the Organizing Committee for Director’s Ethics, ICAC/Ethics Centre since 2007.


Ms. Liza Yu, strategy management

Ms Yu first volunteered as a strategy consultant for The Leprosy Project in 2008. She was the CEO of the Project for over a year and is conversant with the operation in Sichuan and currently serves on the board advising the team on people and project management. Prior to this, Ms. Yu headed strategy management in a container terminal company, steering the group’s business planning process and managing its project portfolio. She has over 20 years of experience in the private sector with expertise in communications, strategy planning and project management. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she received her degree from the University of Hong Kong. She has served on a committee of the territory wide Volunteer Movement to promote corporate volunteering in the private sector.


Mr. Thomas Wiedemann, senior consultant TVET / Agriculture

Mr. Wiedemannserves as an advisor for the agricultural aspects of community development in The Leprosy Project, with previous visits to the villages, 2007, 2010 and 2013. Based on training and work experience on several German farms, and after 9 years being a trainer and facilitator in a Farmers School in Germany, he decided to work as an international senior expert for vocational training, mostly in the field of Agriculture. Since then, he has worked in several work assignments in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Kosovo and Peru, both in the GO and NGO context. He shares his experience to the Leprosy Project, with a valuable specific background gained through his community work with campesinos (small farmers) in the Peruvian Andes, using the participatory approach as the main guiding principle of sustainable development. He has an MSc in Agriculture from the University of Hohenheim and an MM in Business Management from the University of the Philippines.