BY ANESU MUSHAWATU
MISS Albinism Zimbabwe Trust (MAZT) has partnered with South Africa’s Khulisa Social Solutions (KSS) and musician-cum-social justice activist, PJ Powers, on a year-long project to inspire people with albinism (PWA) to embrace their unique identity through storytelling and resilience development programme in order to improve their well-being.
The three aim to develop an integrated movement to PWA who will be capacitated as master trainers and peer support workers as well as roll the programme out in communities and educate the public about the genetic disorder.
KSS founder Lesley Ann van Selm, who is currently in the country, told NewsDay Life & Style that the partnership was meant to improve the living standards of PWA.
“PWA form one of the most dehumanised and marginalised groups globally. Our aim is to inspire them to embrace their unique identity and fight the stigmatisation and discrimination often caused by distorted cultural understanding or ignorance of the disorder,” she said.
Selm said the programme would help participants become advocates of change, dispel myths and promote inclusion in schools, communities and the workplace.
The project, she said, was aimed at empowering 30 beneficiaries including PWA and those affected by albinism. A fundraising event sponsored by a local hotel scheduled for September 12 and will be broadcast live on Channel Africa Radio and TV.
Speaking on the global inaugural Miss Albinism Zimbabwe beauty pageant, MATZ founder Brenda Mudzimu said the second edition set for March next year would be bigger following requests from PWAs from other countries for the pageant to be rolled out.
“All participants in this pageant will undergo Khulisa’s Dare to Dream programme to ensure that after the event they can assume the role of becoming ambassadors of change. The contest will be open to males and females,” she said.