Albinism: “United in Making Our Voices Heard”

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Inclusion is not an option…

In 2015 International Albinism Awareness Day was declared with the establishment of the office of the then United Nation Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, IK Ero. And today 13 June 2022 we celebrate IAAD and being “United in Making our Voices heard”, as this year’s theme.

Albinism is a hereditary genetic condition where an individual is born without pigmentation. Lack of pigmentation is usually noted in hair, skin colour and eyes and this can be seen in the most common type of albinism Oculocutaneous albinism. There are about 8 types of albinism OCA 1- OCA 7 and Ocular albinism.

Oculocutaneous albinism is caused when two gene mutations occur, and these gene mutations can have varying physical traits, depending on which gene mutations are paired. On the other hand, ocular albinism affects the eyes and the formation of the eyes. However, all albinism types cause vision issues, sensitivity to the sun on the skin due to a lack of melanin, light sensitivity called photophobia, at high risk of acquiring skin cancer and irregular formation of the eyes caused by nystagmus, astigmatism and other factors.

Nunnovation Africa Foundation (NAF) has speared-headed innovation and good news in Africa and has made a notable footprint at that. As new challenges of gender-based violence, colourism, employment inequality and limited resources made available to persons with impairments in the workplace hindering their value-add has further been highlighted by Covid-19, even though they far outdate it.

Innovative ways of solving challenges of disability inclusion and accessibility exist and need to be further highlighted and educate society of the good news that are possible through creative and inspiring solutions for disabling factors and situations that create barrier to millions of people in Africa.

NAF understands that accessibility is not trying to share inspiring, innovative, educational programmes for issues that assist people in boxes, no. It’s about creating universal access because we are all being disabled in many ways and some of these ways are invisible, but they matter. And there is a myriad of methods to capacitate our populations.

As an organisation that seeks to contribute in advancing innovation through inclusion, Nunnovation is inspired to be part of solutions across Africa from the public spaces to rural areas where disability holds population hostage, and to proudly say that the values enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) are ones they adopt.

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Persons with albinism are merely born without pigmentation, nothing to be feared or revered. For over 100 years misinformation of stigma, cures, causing brutal murders have surrounded beliefs around albinism. Millions of persons with albinism globally united in making their voices heard, including organisations and young leaders like Proud Albinism, Anneline Mathiba and Mr and Miss Albinism Zimbabwe founder Brenda and the Yell4Change Campaign. Nunnovation is proud to be celebrating with all these campaigns and there is more to cover on even more innovation and good news!