Albinism is Humanism
Changing perceptions of Albinism in Africa - Jane Waithera has pursued this mission for many years. The founder of Positive Exposure Kenya herself lives with this condition and knows firsthand how the stigma is still present in most African countries. People's perception of albinism is mainly characterized by misunderstanding and cultural superstition, which has serious consequences: people with albinism (PwA) are marginalized and persecuted, and women are often raped. Jane also suffered from exclusion and violence, so she wants to achieve a new understanding of the condition. Albinism is not a disease - with certain aids, such as sufficient sun protection and visual aids, it can be lived without restriction and allow people with albinism to conduct a normal life.
To create a sustainable improvement in people's living situation with albinism, a fundamental change of the mindset is necessary. Making More Health (MMH) has been supporting Jane’s activities since 2017. In cooperation with Jane, the website https://be-in-be-you.org/ and our albinism-awareness program, was created. We are co-creating a lot of training sessions in local communities and for stakeholders from different backgrounds: NGOs, teachers, nurses, informal health workers, students and people with albinism. We were also able to promote joint activities with Positive Exposure in cooperation with other MMH partners in Kenya, such as the Mukuru Angaza Film Academy, Ampath, and GAASPP: In the current pandemic, we produced masks and soap together, and in September, we had a three-day virtual Training of Trainer session to educate about albinism.
“ I’m so elated to have been selected as an Ashoka fellow and I’m really excited to have a platform to continue growing my social change initiative with the best social entrepreneurs globally . This is a win for not only me but also my albinism community that I represent, “ so Jane Waithera.
This is the first time that a partner from our MMH community network has been appointed an Ashoka fellow - we are thrilled to accompany Jane on her further journey as an Ashoka/MMH fellow and to support her in the fight against stigmatization of PwA’s. In the future, we are looking for more partners to raise awareness for this condition on all levels in Africa. Are you also active in this field? Then please contact us under firstname.lastname@example.org