We received two letters from different cities in Tanzania. Both asking for "Project Daniel"-type help for people with albinism who've been subjected to brutal attacks and disfigurement because of an "absurd myth" as to their magical powers. We've been gut-punched by the details, and we need to be part of a movement to create awareness for their plight.
I have followed with great interest the story of Project Daniel in Sudan and the 3D printing prosthetic work of Mick Ebeling. Fantastic work!
We live in Mwanza, Tanzania working with Emmanuel International. I come from the Vancouver area, my husband comes from the UK, which is where we lived before coming to Tanzania in 2010.
We are very interested in finding out about the possibility of a similar project here in Tanzania. The problem we face here is the endangered lives of people with albinism. Albinism is a genetic condtion which results in a lack of pigmentation in the hair, skin and eyes, causing vulnerability to sun exposure and bright light.
What is so horrific here in Tanzania is the industry of the sale of albino body parts. This evil business is due to the widespread belief that albino body parts carry magical powers when used in witchcraft, belief that the blood of a person with albinism can be drunk for riches or good luck. This leads to attacks and killings, often of vulnerable children. Limbs are hacked off and taken. The attacks and killings are brutal. The damaging effects are far-reaching.
And this is what leads me to you! Just last week a 15 year old girl called Pendo was attacked and her right hand was butchered just below the elbow. She has survived and is recovering now. But she will live with what has happened and without her hand for the rest of her life. We can help her to continue with an education, to try and help her start a sustainable income business, but you could give her an arm and make this all so much more achievable!
Under the Same Sun is a organization we are connected with here, they are doing a great work for people with albinism (internationally). We know them well and I have forwarded your Project Daniel story to them.
I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully talking further.
We would love to see people with albinism who have lost limbs here helped, so please do let us know if there is anything we can do that would help to facilitate your involvement here.
Thanks so much! We look forward to hearing from you!
Rachel and Tim Monger
Click here for a report on the recent attacks on Tanzanians with albinism in which two women have lost arms. For those of you with a hard time digesting the awful things that humans do to each other, please know that this report is vivid in its description of what has been happening. It is brutal, and it is happening, but we appreciate that people have different levels of tolerance, so we want you to know what's up before you click.