By: Tabitha Kugbonu | Voltaonlinegh |
Engage now Africa (ENA), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which aims to heal, rescue and uplift individuals from poverty in some African countries is advocating for the rights of persons with albinism in border communities including Nabu in the Nkwanta North District of the Oti Region.
Nabu is a small farming community which lies on the Ghana-Togo border with part of the community falling within Togo where it is believed that the existence of a person with albinism prevents rainfall, thus, endangering lives of children born with the condition.
According to the findings of ENA, Nabu which has approximately 3,800 inhabitants with about 85 per cent of the population being Muslims and noted for yam cultivation, refer to persons with albinism as “mbamban” (witches/wizards) who must be avoided to prevent misfortunes.
The NGO got this revelation in an interactive community durbar it organised. According to the sources, persons with albinism at Nabu and surrounding areas faced lots of humiliation, discrimination and stigmatisation.
This informed ENA to organise a durbar to sensitise and educate the community on albinism and had the chief of the community, Nana Biley and his entire household as first participants and later, about 1,000 participants including school children, youth, elderly men and women, teachers, traditional leaders, imams, assembly members as well as opinion leaders at the sensitisation programme.
Participants were exposed to the facts about albinism with some admitting that they feared persons with albinism because of the black spots on their body.
The NGO also took time to boost the confidence level of persons with albinism by teaching them to understand the conditions and care they deserved and encouraged them to stand up for their rights and make an impact by partaking in communal labour and other community related activities.
They were also provided with hats and sunscreen lotions to lessen their condition.
Engage now Africa therefore urged benevolent organisations and individuals to come on board and fight human rights related issues especially the undermining of persons with albinism in the country.