Hunted in Tanzania, Saved in Philadephia: Young Albino Kids Rescued from the Albino Hunters

1

Persecution of people with albinism (sometimes abbreviated PWA) may occur for different reasons. One is based on the belief that certain body parts of albinistic people can transmit magical powers. Such superstition is present especially in some parts of the African Great Lakes region, it has been promulgated and exploited by witch doctors and others who use such body parts as ingredients in rituals, concoctions and potions with the claim that their magic will bring prosperity to the user (“muti” or medicine murder). As a result, people with albinism have been persecuted, killed and dismembered, and graves of albinos dug up and desecrated. At the same time, people with albinism have also been ostracised and even killed for exactly the opposite reason, because they are presumed to be cursed and bring bad luck. The persecutions of people with albinism take place mostly in Black African communities, especially among East Africans.

Photo above: 13-year-old Emmanuel Festo from Tanzania poses for a portrait with a plush toy that he says makes him feel safe at night and that he sleeps with, in New York’s Staten Island, September 21, 2015. Albino body parts are highly valued in witchcraft and can fetch a high price. Superstition leads many to believe albino children are ghosts who bring bad luck. Some believe the limbs are more potent if the victims scream during amputation, according to a 2013 United Nations report. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

2

Albinism is a genetically inherited condition which is very rare and worldwide affects approximately one in twenty thousand people. Although rare in the western world, albinism is quite common in sub-Saharan Africa, likely as a result of consanguinity.” Both parents who may or may not be albinos themselves must carry the gene if it is to be passed on to the child and is common both in male and female and is not specific to any race or ethnic group. Statistics prove that fifty percent of albinos in Tanzania have an albino relative which they know of although very few understand or are educated about the medical and genetic causes of this condition. Most people believe it is a punishment from God or bad luck and that their “disease” could be contagious which is often the view of even members of the medical and professional community. These misconceptions, coupled with the lack of education are some of the key reasons that albinism is so heavily persecuted. This lack of knowledge about people with albinism means that myth and superstition in the name of witchcraft take place of medical and scientific facts in the minds of many albinos and native Africans which in turn has major effects the social integration of albinos into society.

Photo above: 5-year-old Baraka Cosmas from Tanzania poses for a portrait in Staten Island. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

3
5-year-old Baraka Cosmas from Tanzania dances along as a video plays on a computer in Staten Island. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

4
13-year-old Emmanuel Festo from Tanzania poses for a portrait in Staten Island. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

5
15-year-old Pendo Sengerema from Tanzania poses for a portrait with a stuffed animal she says she sleeps with at night to make her feel safe. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

6
Children from Tanzania play cards in the living room in Staten Island. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

7
15-year-old Pendo Sengerema from Tanzania poses for a portrait in Staten Island. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

8
5-year old Baraka Cosmas (L) and 12-year-old Mwigulu Matonage from Tanzania play soccer in the backyard. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

9
12-year-old Mwigulu Matonage from Tanzania poses for a portrait in Staten Island. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

10
5-year-old Baraka Cosmas (R) from Tanzania holds hands with Elissa Montanati of the Global Medical Relief Fund in Staten Island. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

11
Mwigulu Matonage (L), Pendo Sengerema (C) and Emmanuel Festo (R) sit on a sofa. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

12
5-year-old Baraka Cosmas from Tanzania poses for a portrait. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

13
12-year-old Mwigulu Matonage from Tanzania walks into his bedroom. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

14
5-year-old Baraka Cosmas from Tanzania talks with Elissa Montanati of the Global Medical Relief Fund in his bedroom. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

15
15-year-old Pendo Sengerema from Tanzania puts on her prosthetic arm in her bedroom. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

16
5-year-old Baraka Cosmas from Tanzania poses for a portrait with a plush heart that he says makes him feel safe at night and that he sleeps with. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

17
13-year-old Emmanuel Festo from Tanzania eats an orange as he does homework in Staten Island. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

18
Mwigulu Matonage (L) and Emmanuel Festo (R) put on their prosthetic arms as Baraka Cosmas (C) looks on in their bedroom. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

19
12-year-old Mwigulu Matonage from Tanzania eats an apple as he does homework. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

20
12-year-old Mwigulu Matonage from Tanzania poses for a portrait. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

21
Mwigulu Matonage (L) and Emmanuel Festo (R) put on their prosthetic arms as Baraka Cosmas (C) looks on in their bedroom in Staten Island. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave Your Comment Below


If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

"The Short And Tragic Romance": Photos Of Nancy Spungen And Sid Vicious Together In 1978
Photographer Captures a Dark Carnival Themed Photoshoot to Create Couture Clowns in Abandoned Creepy Nature
These Portraits Show How People Are Just Like Their Pets
Wild Things: Victoria's Secret Angels without Make-up
Beautiful 'Then And Now' Pictures Of Women From London's '80s Subcultures
Beautiful Cosplay Girls
Fascinating Vintage Photos Of Playboy Playmates Posing With Classic Cars
Magical Photos Of China Taken By The US Photographer Tristan Zhou
Fight Like A Gentleman: The Art Of Self Defense, ca. 1940s
Russian Photographer Takes Portraits With Real Animals And People Say Her Works Look Like They’re Straight From A Fairy Tale
This Photographer Spent 10 Years Recording The Post-Soviet Discos Of Lithuania
This Photographer Takes Beautiful Portraits Of People With Acne
Danish Photographer Captures Atmospheric Images of the Hyllie Water Tower Covered with a Morning Fog
Artist Jung Lee Constructed A Series Of Neon Light Sculptures That Were Installed Against Cinematic Landscapes
UK Astronomy Photographer Of The Year 2016 Shortlist
Henry’s Concepts: Adorable Photo Series Directed Entirely by a Two-Year-Old
Photographer Franck Bohbot Captured Vintage Tennis Court In California
Photographer Michal Zahornacky Creates Minimalistic Architectural Collages Inspired By The Current Pandemic Situation
This Photographer Colorized 30 B&W Photos Of New York From Years Ago
Japanese Hermit Masafumi Nagasaki Lives Naked and Alone on Sotobanari Island
World's Best Wedding Photography Contest - The 2017 Best Of The Best Destination Photography Collection
The Art of Japanese Portrait Photography by Kishin Shinoyama
Priests in Russia Conducted a Divine Service in The Covid-Center and Bypassed All Patients by Sprinkling Holy Water and Giving Them Icons
This Wedding Photographer Turns You Into A Miniature Person
Spectacular Winning Photos Of The 2018 UK Underwater Photographer Of The Year Contest
Brazilian Photographer Camila Fontenele De Miranda Transforms Strangers Into Frida Kahlo
Beautiful Ethiopian Headwear Made From Your Trash
Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid! Hundreds Descend On Central London For World Zombie Day Walk Through The Capital
This Woman Had Her Face Photoshopped In Over 25 Countries To Examine Global Beauty Standards
In Between Times: Lyrical And Nostalgic Atmosphere Of The Soviet Ural Region In Beautiful Black And White Photographs Of Ivan Galert