My Story, Your Story
On 11th February, Tai Tanzania launched its 3D animation film called “Nivushe”. A short film that addresses challenges faced by people with albinism during the momentum journey of achieving their goals. A young girl with albinism called Njaro is passionate to explore science. However, to become that version, she is forced to overcome countless aversion from the community but still, she stood strong.
Albinism is a genetically inherited condition, it is very rare, and worldwide, in every 20000 children born, one (1) has albinism. And one (1) in every 1429 born in Tanzania. Statistics show that 50% of people with albinism in Tanzania have a known relative with albinism. On the contrary, albinism is a result of both parents who may or may not have albinism themselves rather the gene that causes albinism.
Irene George, is an advocacy officer at Under the Same Sun Tanzania. A non- governmental organization which doesn’t only addresses and promote rights of people with albinism but also to tag end discrimination against people with albinism.
Growing up as an only child with albinism in her family, Irene proclaimed, God has been good to me and I’m deeply grateful for my parents, relatives and even the community around, for being super supportive. And whenever she felt like challenged, she has always believed in her strengths, confidence, and capabilities.
“I was loved! I was never treated as a special person, in my family, we were all treated equally. My father wanted all of us to be educated and he gave me enough support on my education, the same as my mother and the community that surrounded me. They all admired me and never discriminated me at all.
Irene who’s also a writer, says she has numerous articles and poems that she wrote to address issues of discrimination and negative perceptions on people with disabilities that tend to create a non- inclusive society. She continues, “Sometimes I realize parents need help too especially when it comes to supporting children”. Through her Kasuku book collection which is to be launched sometime in the future, she has worked with women and children with disabilities who experience discrimination by voicing out their challenges and necessary solutions that our communities should take to eliminate such acts.
“My vision is to see these books being used in school curriculum, and even in animations to educate and inform the students.” Irene is now a member of Writers Space Africa association.
Tanzania has witnessed multiple crimes on the killings of PWAs between 2007 and 2016. People with albinism were always hunted and brutally killed. For Irene, that was so terrifying and heart breaking. As a person who does advocacy and public awareness on albinism, she says education and public information has played a huge role in transforming our communities, looking at the past, we are now far better. She keeps fighting for the rights of people with albinism and encourages our community to treat them like others in opportunities and all matters of the community. She believes there is a bright future for people with albinism in Tanzania.
Irene has a Master’s Degree in Cooperative and Community Development, Bachelor Degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Diploma in Cultural Heritage and Tour Guide.
She attended Makole primary school, Oldadai Secondary school and later on Bishop Durning High school in Arusha.