Dangerous Borders of Albinism
In East Africa, ritual magic, witchcraft and superstition play a large part in the everyday life of many people. One of the darkest elements of the cultural practice includes the lucrative trade of body parts of people with albinism who in some communities are outcast and believed to be cursed. They are killed for their body parts which are believed to posses magical properties including the cure for HIV and cancer.
Gabriel is a five year old Kenyan boy who hails from a village near the border between Kenya and Tanzania. He has a rare form of albinism condition known as Rufous Albinism
Due to his condition, the boy has previously experienced three unsuccessful attempts to kidnap him. Kidnappers want to sell him across the borders in Tanzania
The belief that body parts from people with albinism can be used to cure diseases has made their lives a consistent danger. some people even leave newborn babies with albinism in the bush to die.
Gabriel's father sat up every night with a bow and arrow to protect him, and despite his best efforts, there were still attempts to kidnap him in broad daylight.
Kenya's first politician with albinism, Isaac Mwaura, is petitioning for a new law to protect people with albinism. He wants a refuge centre to cater for people who have been targeted or attacked
Gabriel is not blind. but here, he is safer. The school is patrolled by guards to guarantee the security for the children in it.
Thika School for the blind is a Salvation Army institution that caters for children with albinism, as many have problems with their sight due to a lack of iris pigment
The school's head teacher Jotham Makoha said children with albinism were vulnerable and Gabriel would be nurtured at the school
Many children with disabilities can be challenging to teach. Students with visual impairments, in particular, can be especially difficult to Teaching Guide accommodate because much of learning is a visual process
The school does not have all the resources it needs to serve the students and appeals to well-wishers to for help