Advantage Africa is challenging the horrific discrimination, insecurity and skin cancer experienced by people with albinism in East Africa.
As part of this work we are involved in a research project in Uganda and Tanzania to investigate the impact of stigma on the education and life opportunities of children with albinism, aiming to help them overcome the barriers and discrimination that they experience.
Our focus is on Uganda, where Advantage Africa is conducting the field research with our partners, the Source of the Nile Union of Persons with Albinism (SNUPA) in Busoga sub-region. We aim to discover the positive and negative factors which contribute to children with albinism dying or surviving in early childhood. We are also examining access to nursery, primary and secondary school and barriers to the progression to work.
Areas for investigation include:
• Local myths, traditions and attitudes which surround people with albinism including infanticide and targeting of children for their body parts.
• The strategies that enable some children with albinism to survive and overcome stigma in order to go to school.
• The role of parents, teachers and community leaders in supporting children with albinism.
• The strategies of albinism associations and other NGOs in advocating for educational opportunities.
• Government policies and practices relating to children with albinism’s education.
Our project partners include Coventry University, Standing Voice and the French foundation FIRAH.
The project began in June 2015 with training in research techniques and two pilot focus group discussions. We expect the findings, recommendations and tools to be disseminated in 2017.
Pictures show SNUPA team members taking part in the project start-up and training workshop in Jinja, south-east Uganda, June 2015.