Maimed for body parts

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CHILDREN in Tanzania are continuing to benefit from the hard work of Kirkcaldy’s rotary club.

The club’s international chairman, Alan Suttie, has been raising money for different projects in the country after first visiting in 2003 with his wife Janet.

In 2009, when looking for a particular school to deliver mosquito nets to, he came across a project greatly in need of help - Mitindo school. The school is home to around 70 albino Tanzanians, most of whom suffer from the common side-effect of visual impairment.

Protected

The school is one of a handful where albino children attend, providing a rare safe-place for them, where they are protected from the possibility of being killed or maimed for their body parts, which are sold for witchcraft in some parts of Tanzania.

Since then, the rotary has raised money to support abused albino children, setting up a resource library at Patandi teaching college, which aims to help educate visually impaired children, as well as providing much needed sunhats, sunscreen and visual aids.

Black magic

Alan said: “In January we were shocked to come face to face with an albino child, Emmanuel, who had his limbs cut off to be sold for black magic.

“In talking with different people I am convinced that more needs to be done to help educate people, starting with children, about albinism, so they are not seen as having ‘magical powers’ - that they are ordinary people.

“Unfortunately, during our visit in December it was difficult to get access to Mitindo school - the Tanzanian government are sensitive to the international attention the issue has been getting.

“However, we have been working with another school, Bukoba, where we provided visual aids, sunscreen and hats.”

During their last visit, Alan and Janet got the Braille and audio library off the ground - something they have been working on with the college for two years.

For more information contact Alan.Suttie@fsbinsight.co.uk.