Albinism means skin, hair and eyes lack the melanin that gives them colour and protects them from damage by ultraviolet light from the sun. It’s a genetic disorder inherited from parents who both carry a faulty gene.
Without melanin to protect them, Albinos have an extremely high risk of getting skin cancer, infections from sunburn and severely damaged eyesight.
In many countries Albinos are thought to be ghosts or haunted beings. In Tanzania particularly, they are hunted for their body parts, which are used in potions to bring good luck, wisdom and wealth. Victims are kidnapped and dismembered by hired killers, or even sold by unscrupulous family members, with body parts fetching up to £60,000.
Fortunately, Rwanda doesn’t believe in this vile practice and Albinos are better accepted by society, although it is still regarded as a disability. Because of this, PF have sponsored the school fees of a number of young people with Albinism, like Willy and Grace, as part of the drive for inclusive education.