Rescue ‘Fortress’ Protects Albinos From Human Hunters, Tanzania

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The women who flee to the centre with their albino children also act as guardians for the other albino children who have been abandoned at the centre in Kabanga Refuge Centre, Tanzania, 2012.

The rescue centres in Tanzania protect albino people from the vicious hunters who sell their body parts to witch doctors. Photojournalist Ana Palacios, visited the centre in Tanzania three times between 2012 and 2016 to find out more about the plight of albino people. Persecution of albinism is rooted in the belief that the body parts can transmit magical powers, however, they are also ostracised by those who believe that they are cursed and bring bad luck. The Tanzanian government has been forced to set up special centres to protect people with albinism from harm.

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A young boy with albinism plays with a hoop and stick in Kabanga Refuge Centre, Tanzania, 2012.

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Grace Manyika checks the jars before sending the product to the distribution centres in Moshi, Tanzania, 2016.

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Sang’uti Olekuney demonstrates how to apply Kilisun, a Tanzanian made sunscreen specifically designed for people with albinism in Moshi, Tanzania, 2016.

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A young girl with albinism inspects her artwork in Moshi, Tanzania, 2016.

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An albino person’s skin has little or no melanin, which is an effective blocker of solar radiation, and this makes them extremely vulnerable to the harsh effects of the sun in Kabanga Refuge Centre, Tanzania, 2012.

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The oldest children at the Kabanga centre, Bethod and Biko, listen to Celine Dion on their old radio cassette player in Kabanga Refuge Centre, Tanzania, 2012.

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Children at the centre finish school at five in the afternoon and return to the centre where they feel safer playing outside in Kabanga Refuge Centre, Tanzania, 2012.

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Hadija braids Zawia’s hair in a shady spot where Zawia faces less risk of sun damage in Kabanga Refuge Centre, Tanzania, 2012.

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At the centre a hundred albinos live alongside people with a range of physical and mental impairments in Kabanga Refuge Centre, Tanzania, 2012.

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Eleven-year-old Kelen loves to dance in the half-built rooms of the centre in Kabanga Refuge Centre, Tanzania, 2012.

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Baswira Ntotye shelters inside the huts of Kabanga to get away from the sun in Kabanga Refuge Centre, Tanzania, 2012.

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Mafalda Soto, the founder of Kilisun, during a special consultation with school student Salim Rashid with different prototypes of sunscreen formulas in Moshi, Tanzania, 2016.

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When water runs low the black women take turns visiting the hospital wells so the albino women do not risk being taunted or kidnapped in Kabanga Refuge Centre, Tanzania, 2012.

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Zawia, who speaks Swahili, English and sign langauge, aspires to be a teacher in Kabanga Refuge Centre, Tanzania, 2012.

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The Tanzanian government set up special protective centres for people with albinism after many had to flee their homes from traffickers in Kabanga Refuge Centre, Tanzania, 2012.

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Many women are forced to flee to complexes like Kabanga when they give birth to an albino child in Kabanga Refuge Centre, Tanzania, 2012.

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Epafroida lives at the refuge centre and dreams of opening her own textile business in a nearby market in Kabanga Refuge Centre, Tanzania, 2012. (Photos by Ana Palacios/Barcroft Images)

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6 thoughts on “Rescue ‘Fortress’ Protects Albinos From Human Hunters, Tanzania

  1. Reblogged this on mira prabhu and commented:
    Shocking!!! Rescue centres in Tanzania protect albino people from the vicious hunters who sell their body parts to witch doctors. Photojournalist Ana Palacios, visited the centre in Tanzania three times between 2012 and 2016 to find out more about the plight of albino people. Persecution of albinism is rooted in the belief that the body parts can transmit magical powers, however, they are also ostracised by those who believe that they are cursed and bring bad luck. The Tanzanian government has been forced to set up special centres to protect people with albinism from harm. Please, if you can, share this as widely as possible…the more caring humans who know about this, the safer those children will be. Thanks for this, alk3r!

  2. Wow – this is fascinating. More needs to be done to understand albinism, in order to educate people and de-stigmatize those who have it. This article definitely needs to be shared far and wide!

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