In Uganda, there are lots of dangerous myths towards people with albinism.
People believe that it is a punishment from God, or that if you get the body part of someone with albinism, it will bring you wealth.
Peter is the Executive Director of the Source of the Nile Union for People with Albinism (SNUPA). Peter has overcome huge discrimination to establish himself as a national leader.
Since establishing SNUPA, Peter and his team have mobilised people with albinism across Uganda. They have had a significant political impact, helping to set up regular nationwide skin clinics and a tax-free policy on sunscreen lotion.
As an established leader Peter is passionate about giving back to a younger generation of disabled people. Here he shares some of his story:
People with albinism are surrounded by fear.
We have been hidden away, ashamed and scared to speak in public. I was told by my parents that when I was born, many of their friends distanced themselves. They thought I was cursed.
I got together with a few other people with albinism, we wanted to try and change things but we didn’t have any idea of what we could do.
We connected with ADD International who helped us to build our capacity, understand our rights and what we need to do to change society. We set up our organisation which now works to change people’s attitudes to albinism and to change government policies so that we can access all our rights.
For a child that’s grown up being told she’s nothing but a curse it takes time to change that idea. It’s a gradual process. It’s not easy. We use music to share our message of unity, love and dignity for all human beings. We need to be creative about tackling discrimination – and music has such power to reach people. Let us continue to fight together against violence, isolation and discrimination.
We need to get the message out that people with albinism are human beings like other people.
I have received many different trainings, like how to influence policy makers to create policies that will protect people with albinism. We recently launched a campaign to get the government to waive taxes on sun protection cream for people with albinism. Sun cream is very expensive and our skins make us very susceptible to cancer.”
ADD International was a founding partner in helping Peter and his organisation get off the ground. They have now been successful in finding other funding partners, namely Advantage Africa, who are helping them continue their work helping thousands of people with Albinism in Uganda.
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