Entry Title: "Under the Same Sun"
Category and Expertise: Editorial-Political, People-Children, Professional
Entry Description: This series was created in collaboration with the Josephat Torner Foundation to raise awareness about the circumstances of people with albinism living in Africa, specifically Tanzania.
In Tanzania, when you have albinism, you are thought to be evil. There even is a price on the head of children with albinism since killing a person with albinism is considered to bring good luck. The fears and superstitions surrounding albinism run very deep in Tanzanian society. So deep that many women who give birth to a child with albinism are told to kill the baby at birth. If she refuses, she and the baby will become outcasts.
Many children with albinism are denied fundamental human rights. They are despised and taught that they are evil. They live in constant fear of brutal attacks.
Many of those who have been attacked are young children. In December of 2014, a 4 year-old girl with albinism named Pendo Emmanuelle, was taken from her mother’s arms. Police have yet to find her body. In February 2015, Yohana Bahati, a boy of just 18 months, was taken from his home, his mother’s face slashed with machetes as she tried to protect her son. She narrowly survived. Days later, little Yohana’s body was recovered from a forest, where he was found face down in the mud with his arms and legs hacked off.
Because of killings like this, many children with albinism now live in camps. Rejected by and cut-off from their families, they live separate from society in order to keep them safe. In some of the camps the living circumstances are horrible, with even basic care lacking. They are secluded, kept apart, hidden, often mistreated and shamed. That’s why the mission of the Josephat Torner Foundation is social acceptance and inclusion.