Persons with albinism need jobs, not pity

Albinism Catherine Wangui (right) and Angie Kite

Catherine Wangui (right) and Angie Kite pose for a photo on June 13, 2021 during the International Albinism Awareness Day. Persons with albinism need opportunities, not pity

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Persons with albinism need opportunities, not pity

There is no greater disability in society, than the inability to see a person as more, so said Robert M. Hensel. His statement illustrates why we should not segregate people who are abled differently just because of their unique appearance.

In the modern society, education has equalised everyone—rich or poor, or living with a disability or not. This has given everyone a chance to explore the diverse world and acquire skills required in the job market.

However, despite people living with disabilities acquiring an education, they are still victims of discrimination and stigmatisation. They are seen as different and it is assumed that they can’t perform certain tasks required in the workplace or regular schools.

People living with albinism are no exception; they face a hard time trying to fit in the society. Their physical appearance draws attention everywhere they go and people pity them instead of listening to them.

Depression, low self-esteem

The deadly stigma that comes with albinism leads others into depression and low self-esteem. What human beings tend to forget is that they are people too, and what differentiates them from the rest is their condition.

One in every 20,000 people is born with albinism. A genetic disorder characterised by a lack of melanin, the pigment in the skin, hair and eyes, albinism can affect anyone, irrespective of race or ethnicity. According to research, all organisms, including human beings, can be carriers of genes for albinism without exhibiting any traits and an albinistic offspring can be produced by two non-albinistic parents.

The theme of this year’s International Albinism Awareness Day is “United in making our voice heard”. It’s aimed at creating awareness of issues that affect people living with albinism and especially the issue of inequality. Unequal distribution of resources, opportunities, healthcare and human rights are among the problems by people living with albinism and other disabilities face.

Create endless opportunities

Many organisations do not have employees who are abled differently and this raises the question: Where do they work after studies? We need to start looking at individuals’ abilities over their disabilities. We need to create endless opportunities for these people as they are skilled.

God created human beings in His likeness and empowered them. Employers should not worry about how work will be done but what is delivered.

In line with this year’s Albinism Day, which was marked on Monday, people living with albinism demand their rights and respect. The peddling of myths and false, misleading beliefs and tales concerning them should stop.

Joyce Ngari, Narok

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