Albinism is an inherited disease caused by a genetic defect that reduces the amount of melanin pigment formed in the skin, hair and eyes. Albinism occurs in all racial and ethnic groups throughout the world. In the western countries, albinism ration in the society is approximately 1:20,000
In Tanzania, albinism is much common due to tribal marriage and the albinos ration in the society is 1:3000 people.
Due to the albino's difference, myths and legends are attached to their name. 'Albinos have special power, they never die, they just disappear' told me an old man I met in the market of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Over the past several years, more than 80 albinos have been murdered in Tanzania and under the direction of witch doctors, have had their limbs stolen for use in black magic potions. Due to this situation, hundreds of albinos have fled their homes, some of them living in the city centres while others find refuge in emergency shelters constructed by Tanzania's government where they now live separated from their families, and in perpetual fear for their lives. However, the number one enemy of the albinos is the sun's intense radiation , which caims hundreds of victims every year. Many of the albinos succumb to skin cancer while others lose their eyesight.
White Shadows project
White Shadows is a benefit project established in Israel by photojournalist Liron Shimoni, in order to collect sunglasses and sunblock for Tanzania's albinos. Amongst the donors were Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University, Seminar Kibbutzim College, The Association for the Blind of Israel, various sunglasses shops along with private individuals from all over Israel that agreed to contribute their time and money to assist this impoverished community. During his journey to Tanzania, Liron Shimoni has distributed the contributions amongst the established emergency centres. The collection efforts still continue; currently the focus is on acquiring sunblock creams and wide-brimmed hats.
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Das schreckliche Schicksal der Albinos in Tansania
White Shadows in bild.de
Mo 9th - Thu 12th // 10:00 - 15:00 and by appointment