TAEHO (Tanzania Albinos' Education & Health Organization)
- East Africa
TAEHO was formed to ensure that the albino community, including vulnerable youth, live in a secure and healthy environment by introducing measures aimed at eradication of cruelty, stigmatization, and marginalization by availing them equal opportunities in education, health, economic activities, human rights, leadership, and freedom to participate in decision making, from the grass root to national level.
Albinism in Tanzania is viewed under a deficit lens. The government and other stakeholders have not paid any serious or sustained attention to the challenges experienced by persons, particularly youth, living with Albinism. Youth living with albinism especially in the regions of Arusha, Dodoma, Singida, Tabora, and Shinyanga—to mention but a few—face many challenges, including but not limited to: community stigma and marginalization, limited access to education and economic opportunities, high susceptibility to skin cancer and vision problems, and fear for the safety of their lives due to enduring cultural myths regarding people with albinism. Each of the aforementioned points consequently affects youth with albinism's daily lives, health, education, and overall well-being.
The founder of TAEHO, Mr. Mkono, is himself a person living with albinism and has personally experienced many challenges facing the albino community in Tanzania, so he is able to provide valuable insight into the optimal inroads needed to support youth living with albinism in the communities TAEHO serves.
• Informative, awareness and inclusion workshops
for students living with albinism, teachers, parents/ guardians, government officials, and the broader non- albino community. These workshops will be held in TAEHO's headquarters in Arusha, as well as in cooperating schools in the regions of Dodoma, Singida, Tabora, and Shinyanga.
• Door-to-door outreach visits to the homes of youth living with albinism that TAEHO has not yet established a relationship with. The purpose of these visits is to personally introduce the project, to distribute sun protection provisions (e.g. sunscreen cream, sunglasses, hats) and school supplies, and to provide the child/family with a personal, safe connection to a community that will support the student, which is a novelty to many youth living with albinism.
• Invitations to workshops directed toward families and teachers of youth living with albinism in order to provide educational support (e.g. school registration, assistance with associated fees, like school supplies and fees) to youth living with albinism who have not been attending school due to stigma, poverty, and fear.
• Sun protection provisions will be distributed at any of the junctures in which TAEHO meets with individual or groups of youth living with albinism.