Ukerewe African Albino Society

Ukerewe African Albino Society

"We do not melt in the rain, we do not disappear- we live and die like normal people"

"If you keep on thinking about what people say about you or do to you, you will have tears on your cheeks forever."

 

Introduction

Southern Africa's Children has been working with a community of people with albinism on Ukerewe Island since 2003. People with albinism are not integrated in African society and in Tanzania today generally they are believed to be cursed or have supernatural powers and in the last twelve months (2008/2009) 53 people with albinism have been brutally killed for witchdoctor potions and ritual ceremonies. Children with albinism suffer hugely as they are stigmatised from birth often by their own families.

Albinism affects 1 in 20,000 people worldwide.  According to TAS, (The Tanzanian Albino Society), there are 4,000 albinos officially registered but they estimate that the real number is between 173,000 and 270,000 people with albinism living in Tanzania today.

Albinism is an inherited gene disorder. The albino gene is recessive and stops the production of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes. People with albinism suffer greatly under the African sun and those that do survive birth often die at a relatively young age due to skin cancer.

Southern Africa's Children has chosen to work with The Ukerewe Albino Society. In 2006 Southern Africa's Children gave the funds for a survey to be carried out on Ukerewe islands by members with albinism, to find other people who are perhaps being hidden away by their families or experiencing fear and stigma. The survey found 53 men, women and children with albinism. This is a large concentrated number for one area and suggests that the prevalence rate of people with albinism on Ukerewe Island as 1 in 4,000.

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The Ukerewe Albino Society on Ukerewe Island are keen to work together to prove their self worth and not be a drain on society, encouraging the community to understand their self worth and empowering them to help those most in need.

If you would like to receive a copy of the survey findings please email Jennifer here.

The Ukerewe Albino Society are keen to work together to prove their self worth and not be a drain on society, encouraging the community to understand their self worth and empowering them to help those most in need.

Southern Africa’s Children is working in partnership with the Ukerewe Albino Society to construct The UKerewe Umoja Community Centre.
The overall aim of this project is to improve the relationship of individuals with albinism and their neighbors and ultimately integrate albinism into society.

If you would like to be sent the Ukerewe Umoja Community Centre proposal please email Jennifer here.

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Quotes

If you are interested in supporting any of these projects then please do contact Jennifer Walker on 01933 664091 or via email. Alternatively click on our "How to Help" page.


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