Life as an Albino in Africa

In Dar es Salaam, discrimination is beginning to wane. There are more children like Peter and Joyce, who attend school and are part of their community, than ever before. This year, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete appointed the country's first minister for albinism, and the government has ordered a crackdown on witch doctors who target the community.

But stigmatization, poverty and danger are still the norm in the rest of the country. Parents routinely hide their children instead of sending them to school, and beliefs in their magical powers are still prevalent. Just last week, a man was murdered in the Mwanza province, his body parts allegedly given to witch doctors, for a handsome fee.

Mluge says he would like the government to begin classifying albinism as a disability to give those living with the condition more education and a better chance at success. The Tanzanian Albino Society provides hats, sunglasses and education about albinism to those who register with the organization. But with an operating budget of $15,000 annually, the organization can only do so much, Mluge says.

"We need a permanent donor to provide money for activities for people who are coming into the hospital, to educate people living with albinism," Mluge says.

He also advocates more education for the rest of the country about albinism, to try to end the belief that people have magical powers. He says education is the key to ending what he calls "widespread stigmatization" against the community.

Joyce Charles represents what Mluge hopes will be the future: confident, smart and integrated into society.

Joyce says she plans to be a doctor when she grows up, and sees no reason why her albinism should stop her. "I would like to help all kinds of people," she says, "be they albinos or not."

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5331015. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5331015. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5331015. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5331015. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5331015. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5331015. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5331015. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5331015. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5331015.
Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...