In September this year I will be challenging myself in an outrageous feat of personal endurance through the Scottish Highlands to raise money for the charity Standing Voice. In the course of one week I will canoe 60 miles along the Great Glen, cycle 200 miles through remote mountain scenery and summit seven Highland mountains each over 3,000ft high.
And why am I doing this I hear you ask?!! Well it’s simple … because I want to fundamentally change the lives of people living with albinism in Tanzania who face extreme human rights abuses. I want to personally contribute to ensuring these people can live with dignity and respect. Having lived in Tanzania, one of the least developed countries in the world, I know how hard life is for most. However those living with albinism suffer further as they face unimaginable social isolation and discrimination ranging from abandonment and exclusion from educational and life-saving health services to violent mutilation and murder.
I need your help to change these people lives forever and kindly ask for your support as I aim to raise £3,500. Please donate today.
How you will make a difference
£1,000 will fund transformative university education for a young person with albinism for one year
£850 will send a child with albinism to a high achieving secondary school to access an exceptional education for one year
£560 is the cost of one liquid nitrogen tank required for life-saving preventative skin cancer treatment
£150 will professionally train an optometrist to meet the complex vision needs of children with albinism in school
£65 will pay for a dermatologist for one day in a skin cancer clinic
£20 provides visual aids for a child with albinism so they are able to study effectively at school
£5 provides a months supply of sun screen to protect a person with albinism against skin cancer
About Standing Voice
Standing Voice promotes social inclusion and works to stop human rights violations against marginalised groups. We exist to give the disempowered vital tools and platforms to speak back to their society and reassert their presence and equality. We strive to nurture people’s understanding of others so that in the future these marginalised groups will be embraced by society. And in the meantime, we provide the essential basic needs they have been unrightfully denied.
We currently promote the social inclusion of those living with albinism in Tanzania. The stigma that surrounds them has been ingrained within society for many generations and throughout their lives they battle with prejudice, social exclusion and isolation. Seen as a curse from God, they are believed to bring bad luck to the households they are born in to. Many are killed at birth or rejected by their families. Judged by their skin colour alone they are continually dehumanised and ostracised within their communities.
In the face of such extreme prejudice people living with albinism suffer multiple deprivations in Tanzania. Marginalisation from essential health services has led to epidemic rates of skin cancer. As a result people with albinism only have a 2% chance of seeing their thirty-fifth birthday. In addition people with albinism face many challenges at all levels of national education system. This has created illiteracy and a low level of employment. To put this in numbers: Merely 10% of children with albinism in Tanzania are enrolled in secondary school, compared to the national average of 65%.
The stigmatisation facing people with albinism has reached an unimaginable new level in recent years with over 70 people brutally murdered in Tanzania since 2006. Many others have been left mutilated. This practice has been fuelled by witchcraft. Witchdoctors say that magic charms are more powerful if they contain body parts from people with albinism, which has led to a lucrative criminal trade in these body parts.
You can hear many of our beneficiaries tell their story in this short video:
Standing Voice Programmes