Albinism is a group of disorders inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern that results in little or no production of the pigment melanin, which determines the color of the skin, hair, and eyes. Lack of melanin in albinism predisposes individuals to skin damage, skin cancer, and visual impairment at an early age. Children with albinism especially in low and middle-income countries, do not have access to skin protection lotion and sunglasses, increasing their risk of skin and eye damage and making it difficult to follow school lessons. Thus, school dropout is high among children with albinism. According to standing voice, an international non-governmental organization based in Tanzania, only half of the children with albinism complete primary education, and 10% access secondary school. Low levels of education translate into lower chances of employment later in life and expose people with albinism to enduring poverty.
Besides physical impairment, people with albinism suffer from stigma stemming from attitudinal and environmental barriers that their full effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. Bullying of children with albinism owing to appearance occurs all over the world but people with albinism in sub-Saharan Africa are at particular risk. Witchcraft-related beliefs have seen attacks, mutilations, and killings of people with albinism as some believe that their body parts bring good fortune. Children are a specific target for this type of violence because the innocence of the victims is deemed to increase the potency of the talisman. In sub-Saharan Africa, there is also the belief that the ritual defilement and rape of girls with albinism can cure HIV/AIDS. Inevitably, such persistent marginalization and damage have a dramatic impact on the mental health of people with albinism. Having mentioned challenges and myths associated with albinos, it is very important to state that, the experience for albinos in Zambia is very similar to what other albinos go through around Africa if not the whole world. It is from this standpoint that, The Other Side Foundation School has always advocated for education for all, more precisely the orphans and the albinos are not an exception. Looking too deep into what albinos go through, only an atmosphere of love can win back their confidence to mingle with others. TOSF has always created that atmosphere of love for all pupils because of the type of life they were once exposed to. The learners through Education in Human Values have learned to embrace all regardless of religion, color, and status. Being a school that has restored the lost love from the pupils who have seen much than desired in life, pupils have learned to love and trust again hence albinos no longer feel insecure to mingle free with everyone. They do not see themselves to be different from others but always part of a big family. At our school we have so far had three(3) albinos of which one is in grade one(1), two are in grade 5 respectively. Ben, John, and Mary (not real names) are very happy to be at the Other Side Foundation School, jokingly, they tell their friends to call them bazungu ( white people/ foreigners ).
The fear of being stigmatized is no longer part of them because of the love they receive from teachers and their fellow students. As a foundation, we are proud to mention that, we have been living the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to be met by 2030 regarding inclusive education. Apart from education, the school has been a center where more than 20 albinos collect their sunscreen cream which is donated to them.
Much truth needs to be told, to break the silence and save these brothers and sisters from the myths attached to their condition. We can show some love by being helpful in any way that will see them break forth and advocate for their education beyond primary school but up to the tertiary level. In a broader perspective, we can say, specific interventions to dispel existing myths about albinism and guarantee the safety rights of people with the condition are urgently needed. It is time for all global citizens including pediatricians, to actively engage in promoting a radical change in the culture around albinism. Let love prevail because love conquers everything.

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