Albinism  awareness campaigns paying off

14Mar 2019
Gerald Kitabu
DAR ES SALAAM
The Guardian
Albinism  awareness campaigns paying off

A period of silence and peace for people with albinism has been attributed with collaborative efforts between the government and other stakeholders who are actively involved sensitisation and awareness creation campaigns.

The campaigns are aimed at educating the general public on the need to observe and respect human rights.

Citing an example of CARITAS project in the region, Tabora Regional Social Welfare Officer Baraka Makona said recently that the meetings and radio programmes that were organised and conducted by the project helped much to educate the general public. 

The campaigns and advocacy against killing of people with albinism played a very big role and contributed much to stop the killings and reduced stigma, he said.

“At first the project implementers conducted a study to determine the real situation on the ground especially to understand the root cause, how people feel, and how they could tackle the problem. This was done successfully,” he said.

The sensitisation meetings with heads of the rescue centers in Tabora municipal; and parents with albinism children influenced community reintegration (inclusive education and complete vacation of the camps)

There were also similar sensitisation campaigns and meetings at village  and ward level, and the district and actually one of the meetings was chaired by the Tabora Regional Commissioner Agrey Mwanri, he said.

Also in the list there were radio programmes and airing several jingles especially every Saturday that aimed at educating the general public and condemning the killings of people with albinism  . During the radio programmes, the presenter allowed the listeners to make calls, they asked questions and received feedback,” he added.

“I remember some four radio programmes (live presentations) were conducted in two local radio stations. Additionally, there were several jingles to condemn killings of PWA played on daily basis,” he said.

 

Tabora District Community Development Officer Faidha Hassan explained that through CARITAS project, many persons with albinism  have been empowered. Citing an example, she said the district provides loans for different well mobilized groups. The people with disabilities are among the beneficiaries and so far they have formed strong self help economic groups.

 “Even the acts of stigma have gone down  in many areas; people with albinism are now intermingling freely with other people in the streets and even at work place adding that Tabora people in churches, mosques and other places united to condemn all acts of albinism.

Earlier on, CARITAS Tabora Executive Director, Fr. Alex Nduwayo explained that there has been big impact on the project. He named establishment of PWD committees at village and street levels in ten wards as some of the achievements.

He mentioned other achievements as positive response to parents and teachers with regards to community reintegration and inclusive education saying currently  children are allowed to go home during holidays at least twice a year.

 

“Currently there are no more killings and attacks of people with disabilities such as people with albinism since 2016. The churches have increased preaching against these inhuman acts.