Tanzania sets up special school to protect albino teenagers from killings

China Central Television (CCTV)- The Tanzanian government has recently set up anoher special school to protect albino children to bring the total number up to ten, but many more albino children need proection.

The Mitindo Primary School, which is located in the country’s second-largest city Mwanza, currently offers free education to 81 albino children.

Tanzania has the highest population of albinos in Africa, with 17,000 registered people with albinism. Brutal attacks against albinos have increased in the country due to a widespread belief that their body parts bring good fortune and prosperity. The UN Human Rights Office says there have been 74 murders and 151 attacks against albinos in Tanzania since 2000.

Administrators at Mitindo Primary School say they have reinforced security in order to protect albino children at the school.

“Our school has strengthened security by reinforcing its iron wire fence and dispatching more security guards to go on 24-hour patrols. We have three kinds of security guards: some are from private security companies, some are local security guards and some are armed police,” said Kulwa Ngh’welo, head teacher of Mitindo Primary School.

Madoshi Mugisa, a 14-year-old albino teenager who has just started school at Mitindo Primary School, said he is afraid he will be mutilated or killed.

“I am uneasy every day. Every morning, I ask myself if I could make it to the next day,” said Mugisa.

Some children at the school do not know their parents as they were abandoned at an early age.

“Most of them don’t know their parents or relatives. Even if we were to get their parents and tell them that this is your mother, they wouldn’t know. So it’s sad. They have been psychologically damaged,” said Grace Wabanhu, an official with Under the Same Sun, a charity organization that advocates for people with albinism.

Although albino children at Mitindo Primary School get along with their peers, the situation is not the same at other schools, where albino children are discriminated against.

“There is discrimination because people lack understanding of albinism. But we usually try to give their families, fellow students, teachers and dorm matrons more understanding of their condition, so that they treat them the same as other kids. And this has been successful; they have made friends, they play together with the other students and they fully participate in all the activities at school,” said Wabanhu.

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