According to the global human rights body, Amnesty International, since November 2014, Malawi has seen a sharp increase in human rights abuses against people with albinism, including abductions, killings and grave robberies by individuals and criminal gangs.
At least 18 people have been killed and at least five have been abducted and remain missing. According to the Malawi Police Service, at least 69 cases involving crimes related to people with albinism have been reported since November 2014.
An aggravating sad story is told of teenager David Fletcher who went to watch football at a local ground but did not return that evening. Days later, police confirmed that David’s body had been found in Mozambique with his hands and feet chopped off. David was last seen in the company of a colleague who disappeared along with him, who is still missing.
Due to this, many parents and guardians of children living with albinism have restricted the movement of their children.
When these attacks had just started, we were afraid that one of our Standard 4 kids, Smith would stop attending our camp.
But to our surprise, by the grace of God, nothing changed in regards to Smith’s coming to the after-school program.
The other encouragement was that the general aura in society was filled with some extent of isolation towards people living with albinism, but at the camp, all the kids showed so much love and support to Smith.
Seven year old Smith is one of the brightest kids at the camp. At homes he lives with his family of five. His mother runs a small tomato business which is not enough to support the family of seven.
And with his skin condition, Smith needs sensitive skin protection lotion which sells at around $15 but his family cannon afford it.
At a time when people living with albinism are being hunted and sold like animals, at Cornerstone, we aim to be a safe haven where they will find love, food, protection and care.