What Happened To Vedastus Zangule After The Documentary?!
In 2006 independent film maker Harry Freeland went to Tanzania in order to make a fundraising film for a charitable organisation known as Southern Africa's Children (SAC). In Tanzania he met Jennifer Walker, the organization's CEO, as well as an influential albino man named Josephat Torner. Most importantly however, Freeland met 13-year-old Vedastus Zangule, an albino child living with his mother and younger brother on Ukerewe Island.
The young man, known to us simply as "Veda", grew up on Ukerewe Island after being abandoned by his father at birth. Cultural beliefs in Africa led to the assumption that both Veda and his mother were cursed, leading to his birth as an albino. Because Veda's mother refused to let him be killed at birth, she and her children were ostracised and left to fend for themselves.
At the time Mr. Freeland met Veda he was about 13 years old. His mother supported him and his non-albino younger brother by growing a little bit of food on a small plot of land. All three were living in a mud and tin hut barely large enough and certainly not comfortable. Yet despite the difficulties, Veda had the advantage of living with a mother and brother who provided him with the love, support, and encouragement he needed.
Saved by a Film
During the earliest stages of Freeland's work in Tanzania, news about what was happening to albinos in Tanzania began circulating internationally. The world found out that people just like young Vedastus Zangule were being hunted and killed by a culture that believed their body parts were a source of magic and wealth. It was this a shocking realisation that led Freeland to produce a full length documentary film that could be broadcast to the entire world.
The result of Freeland's film was an outpouring of worldwide support. That support led to organizations like SAC, and individual workers like the Ukerewe Albino Association's Josephat Torner, finally getting the financial aid and support they needed to make a real difference to the lives of Vedastus Zangule and other Ukerewe albinos.
Today Veda is 17 years old and attending school on the Tanzanian mainland. He is a boarder at Jelly's School where he studies among both albino and non-albino students alike. During breaks he's able to travel back home to Ukerewe for visits with his mother and brother.
In addition, SAC has set up a fund Veda can access when he finishes his studies. He can use that money to buy his own land, build a house, and support his mother and brother. It offers this young man a real hope for the future he may not have had if it weren't for Freeland, Torner, Walker, and SAC.
Unfortunately, Vedastus Zangule is but one albino among so many on Ukerewe Island and across Africa. Southern Africa's Children and the Ukerewe Albino Association need your help. Please consider a donation that will continue to provide the support albinos like Veda need.
You can help SAC make a difference to Veda and albino children's lives on Ukerewe and bring an end to albino attacks and murders by making an online donation. Whether large or small, every pound you can add to the cause will help Veda and albino children in need.
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For more information about the film project please visit: www.intheshadowofthesun.org.
If you are interested in supporting either of our projects then please do contact Jennifer Walker on 07775 505807 or 01933 664091 or via our contact us page. Alternatively click on our "How to help" page.