Children born with albinism in Tanzania are struggling to stay alive. They live in constant fear of being attacked by people looking to profit from superstitious beliefs.
About one in 20,000 people is born with albinism. These people lack pigment in their hair, skin, and eyes. We’ve all seen albinos and maybe we’ve seen them bullied for looking different here in the U.S but in Tanzania, according to reporting from the Thomson Reuters Foundation, albino body parts are valued in witchcraft. An arm or leg is highly sought after and is set at a high price.
Everywhere in Tanzania, there are body part hunters who ruthlessly attack and dismember albino children whenever they can. Albinos in Tanzania are therefore in constant danger.
“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.
According to Reuters, “The United Nations estimates about 75 albinos have been killed in the east African nation since 2000 and have voiced fears of rising attacks ahead of this year’s election, as politicians seek good luck charms from witch doctors.”
Several Tanzanian children are now receiving care in New York after being brutalized in their home country. You can see them in the video below being fitted for their prosthetics.