Sunday, November 27, 2011

Albinos in Tanzania

Can you imagine living every day in fear? That's the way the albinos in Tanzania have to live because their bodies are sought after for use in witchcraft. More than 60 albinos have been murdered in the last 4 years. They have been chopped up and their body parts have been sold to witch doctors who concoct charms. Others have survived but have been dismembered. Only a few of the cases have resulted in convictions. The news recently indicated that eight suspects were sentenced to death for some of these attacks. Many of these crimes have gone unsolved. And although the arrests that have been made have resulted in some lessening of attacks as recent as last month two teenagers were accosted and their body parts hacked off.
Fifteen year old Kulwa's arm was hacked off with a machete on 10/21/20ll at her home in Mbizi Village.

Albinism is a genetically inherited condition. They lack pigmentation in their skin and their eyes. They are extremely vulnerable to the sun. People with this condition are generally visually impaired and most are legally blind. In North America and Europe the estimates are that about one in every 20,000 people have some form of Albinism, but in Africa and particularly Tanzania the numbers are about one in every 2,000. Approximately 150,000 albinos live in Tanzania and they all fear for their lives. The children have to attend special schools and are often given away as babies because their parents cannot protect them from this horrible evil that often results in dismemberment or death.

A man named Peter Ash, from Langley, BC, formed a non-profit organization called Under the Same Sun to promote the well being of these poor people. He has done many wonderful things to help them such as forming schools for the children, providing a clinic to help with vision problems, developing public awareness, and advocating for people with albinism.

I can't imagine the torture these poor people have to endure. It's bad enough that the sun is their enemy, but to be hunted like animals by other human beings is incomprehensible.

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