Fight to Protect Albino Children

Albino children

In recent years, there has been a spate of horrific attacks against albinos in Tanzania, perpetrated by a group of criminals seeking to profit from sinister beliefs in witchcraft. Tanzanian society has been appalled by the attacks, and great efforts are being made to protect the albino community here.

There appears to be a greater genetic pre-disposition to albinism here than one might find in Europe. Albinos have historically been well integrated into Tanzanian communities, with albino kids attending primary school with all the other kids. The attacks on albinos in North Western Tanzania have changed all that. In many areas, the Government has been left with no choice but to place albino kids in secure boarding schools, where they can be better protected from the malevolent forces that are hunting them.

At one of the local schools that FoCT supports, there are now over 30 albino kids living there all year round, since it is too dangerous for them to go home, even during the holidays. Over the Christmas and New Year period, it was very sad to see these kids away from their families, so FoCT and its local partners, Izaas, organised the distribution of some gifts.

One young boy was mutilated in a horrific attack, his left arm was hacked off, and right hand was severed. FoCT’s local NGO partner, Izaas, arranged for specialist surgeons to travel from the United States to perform a life transforming operation on Emmanuel, which has enabled him to clench hold of items using the remaining muscles on his right arm.

Throughout 2011, and resource permitting, FoCT will continue assisting the albino kids in these boarding schools. Albinos here suffer terribly from skin and eye problems due to the fierce sun, so FoCT will team up with Izaas to bring specialist skin and eye doctors to the schools on a regular basis to ensure the kids are properly cared for.

FoCT will also be working with UNICEF and an NGO called “Under the Same Sun” which is dedicated to fighting for the rights of the albino community. We will be focusing on strengthening the community based protection of the albino community. We will also work with Izaas to ensure that the parents of the albino kids can come and visit them at the school. This will basically mean assisting them with the bus fares which they otherwise can’t afford.

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