“One day we were coming from school, we saw two people who were walking ahead of us. … One covered my face. And the other one starting cutting me. He cut the first time and he missed … He cut the second time and this time succeeded. Then he took my arm and ran away with it.”
Mwigulu was just 10 years old and living in a rural village when his arm was brutally cut off. (1)
“When the killings began, my teacher asked me to stop coming to school.”
Juma, 16 years old when Human Rights Watch interviewed him in July 2017. (2)
He lived with his siblings and his grandfather, a heavy drinker, in a rural area of Northwest Tanzania, south of Lake Victoria.
“Sometimes, when he was drunk or talking about me with his mates, my grandfather would call me ‘Chinese’ or ‘Mbolimbwelu’ which means ‘white goat’. I felt very bad,” Juma said.
Albinos in Tanzania face serious discrimination and abuse. Many got killed, organs were taken and sold in the market. Lives are threatened so badly.
The most shocking fact is that those who attack them mostly are relatives.
This is why education is so important.
This is why we need science.
Many of the new gens in this new digital age want to leave school early, skip sciences, maths, or general topics that seem not to help them make a better life. Or they want to skip the subject that won’t help them make money. Many subjects in school will not help you get wealthy and build your success. Like the science of biology which will not make you rich but it will save many lives!
We might forget to take a look at another side that education in diverse subjects helps us understand the facts in various things. It helps us see the world in a broad view.
Without education, humans could not form a proper thought and make sense of general concepts. We would live with fears. Life would be driven mostly by hormones like animals since lacking a thinking system. We will hunt other lives when we are hungry.
For example, in the case of albinism in Tanzania. They are facing nightmares all their whole life. They live everyday suffering without knowing which day will be their turn to get killed or get attacked. Because the vast majority of Tanzanians believe the body and organs of albinos are like gold and rich in good elements.
They believe that these white people were born rich. Therefore, often albinos were attacked, got killed. Organs were stolen to sell on the market for people who believe in witchcraft.
I believe with no doubt that education can change society. Like in this case. If every citizen in Tanzania (and around the world) gets educated about this albinism. They will have a proper understanding of the disease. It can convert the witchcraft belief into empathy. Albinos would not be treated harshly like this.
Not only difficulties of living their lives with a fear of getting attacks that albinos receive. But they have troubles with health issues as well because the body could not produce melanin (or with a tiny amount) which causes colorless skin, hair, and/or eyes. Hence, they usually have a vision problem, some have impaired vision or blindness. They have a high risk of skin cancer.
Education can bring us equality and give value to all lives. Hence, I asked for only one thing today that is to study things, even the thing seems unrelated to your life at all. Because it’s needed for the people who live on the same planet as you. It might not help you (directly) but you can help people by bringing awareness to get and give education and ultimately send help.
We all want to live a happy life. We want a better world. To do that we need to look around and learn to understand other’s positions. See the wide world before believing or disbelieve in anything.
Today you learn racism happens not only to black lives. But to the people who were born too white as well.
This is why education in general, as well as sciences, are essential. Many of us blame the education systems. Instead of blaming, we should find a way to help each other. Create something that benefits both sides.
This is a long way to go because changing the belief system in society is highly challenging. But it is a must as we all want to see equality for all.
Children with albinism are scared to go to school or go play with friends. They live in fear.
Do not think that you cannot help. Everyone cans. At least learn about it and help us bring awareness.
You can also support by donation through the foundation in the link.
Or buy foods, courses of education, health check, etc for children here.
- JUJU CHANG and VICTORIA THOMPSON, Tanzanian children with albinism, hunted for their body parts, receive prosthetic limbs and a new lease on life, ABC News, 28 December 2017.
- Jonathan Pedneault and Lea Labaki, “It Felt Like A Punishment”: Growing Up with Albinism in Tanzania, Human Rights Watch, February 9, 2019
- Julian Kossoff, People with albinism are being blamed for the spread of the coronavirus in Africa because of their ‘whiteness’, Business Insider, Jun 13, 2020.
DISCLOSURE: I do not get paid or benefits from any company/foundation within links on this page. My purpose is to raise awareness and reach out for help for albinos.