At its recent public meeting Kennington Overseas Aid selected as the project for which we will be fund-raising in 2015 the charity Standing Voice, which provides medical care to people with albinism in Tanzania. Albinism is ten times more common in East Africa than it is in white European societies. It is a condition which means that the sufferers’ skin lacks vital pigments which otherwise protect people from the damaging effects of sunlight. The result is a high incidence of skin cancer and poor life expectancy for such people. Standing Voice provides preventive advice for people with albinism, as well as clinics at which treatment for pre-cancerous and cancerous conditions is provided.
In addition to these medical problems, albinism is poorly understood in Tanzania, resulting in the exclusion of such people from society and in extreme cases their persecution. People with albinism often live in fear of their lives. One thing about this community of people which impressed KOA supporters is the determination of many to come together in self-help organisations in order to seek to improve their life chances as well as the understanding of albinism in the wider community.