Weʼve raised £240 to buy essential items for an albino centre in Togo, West Africa
- Atakpamé, Région des plateaux, Togo
- Funded on Wednesday, 30th May 2018
Crowdfunding is a new type of fundraising where you can raise funds for your own personal cause, even if you're not a registered charity.
The page owner is responsible for the distribution of funds raised.
From October to December 2017, I spent nearly 3 months volunteering on the International Citizen Programme in Togo, West Africa. Whilst working with the YMCA Togo on youth development, I came across an amazing group of people with a condition I didn't know too much about: albinism. I certainly wasn't expecting to find a small community of albinos in the remote town of Atakpamé, in the hills of Togo, West Africa. However, in this centre for albinos, there are over 200 young people from 1 year old to 35 years old, many of whom have fled their regions and countries to find a safe community in Atakpamé. After some research, I learnt that albinism is a lot more common in Africa than the UK for example, as one in every 2,000 people have some form of the condition. It's a congenital condition where there is a lack of melanin, the pigment which colours the skin, hair and eyes. Albinos suffer from pale, dry skin which is extremely susceptible to burning and skin cancer, as well as very poor eyesight and sensitivity to sunlight. As well as suffering from these symptoms in one of the hottest countries in the world, they also face huge discrimination, often violent, and struggle to be given opportunities or acceptance in society. There are even horrendous myths that the bones of albinos bring good fortune and wealth and so albinos in West Africa are forced to flee their homes or risk being hunted and slaughtered by their own community.
Our team of British and Togolese volunteers were privileged to be able to run sessions with the albinos in this centre in Atakpamé and it quickly became a highlight of our week. We were always welcomed with the biggest smiles and hugs, especially from their president who has two young children with the condition, and they could not have been more willing to learn and to be honest, just be appreciated and around other people. There were shocking stories of their treatment and I was told there had even been recent cases of albinos being buried alive. Yet despite this, as well as the continued discrimination they face in Atakpamé, they have this remarkable community together and emitted such immense joy in the face of adversity.
I would really like to raise some money for this centre as they are in desperate need of suncream, hats and glasses to protect them from the blistering sun in Togo. They struggle to get jobs and feed themselves so there is absolutely no money to spend on protecting their health. The percentage of albinos dying at an early age from skin cancer is astounding. These are some amazing people who deserve so much more than they get and I believe a little bit of help could do a huge amount for them. Any donations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Updates appear here
Ben Melville started crowdfunding
Leave a message of support
Feb 9, 2018
Pay it forward
Feb 9, 2018
The winning Bibby Offshore Charity Pub Quiz team ‘Snodders & her playboys (and Ivan)’ would love to donate the winnings to a great cause! Good luck Ben! Keep up the good work :-)
Feb 5, 2018
Jan 30, 2018
Very worthy cause and brave video
Jan 30, 2018
Jan 30, 2018
Crowdfunding stories like this
Great people make things happen
Do you know anyone in need or maybe want to help a local community cause?
Create you own page and donʼt let that cause go unfunded!About Crowdfunding