Albinism Awareness

Albinism Awareness Days

Asante Mariamu supports the celebration of International Albinism Awareness days, and also hosts regular events that bring together community leaders, people with albinism and their families, local politicians and members of the community. Our goal is to demystify the condition for the general public, and to educate people about albinism.

We also seek to build relationships between people with albinism, and foster a sense of community. One of our goals is to put Asante Mariamu out of a job by creating local advocacy groups who can empower, educate and assist people with albinism.

Debunking Myths

The negative myths that surround albinism contribute to the isolation and mistreatment that many experience. Some people in rural East Africa believe that people with albinism are “ghosts” or that albinism is a curse. Also, some people believe that having sexual relations with a person with albinism can cure HIV. Very few people understand the genetic nature of albinism – that it is an inerited condition. In fact, the word “albinism” doesn’t even exist in Swahili; and albinos are often called “zeruzeru,” which literally means “zero zero.”

In an effort to combat the deadly myths that surround the condition, Asante Mariamu has created simple brochures and posters to explain the basics about albinism, and also to explain what albinism is not. This material is distributed in rural villages, at Albinism Awareness Days and by our partner organizations. Our orange bracelets deliver our message in Swahili” “People with albinism are just like you and me.”