When missionaries founded the Kumi Children’s Leper Home in 1930, they perceived the home as an unusual opportunity to mold long-term child residents into civilized citizens of the British Empire, away from the influence of their “primitive” parents. From the perspective of child patients and their relatives, the home was a free school that offered opportunities for advancement. This article explores the dissonance between the vision and the reality of life in the children’s home, focusing on the negotiations that occurred between child leprosy patients, their families, and missionaries as each pursued their own priorities, whether for health, education, economic gain, civilization, or Christianity. In so doing, it makes a contribution to the small but growing field of colonial childhood.