STANBIC bank, has handed over sunscreen lotions, soaps, hats and other toiletries to the Albinism Charity Organisation of Zimbabwe (ALCOZ) amidst growing calls to expand the distribution of these essential products to communal areas.
By Michael Gwarisa
The donation consignment consists of 500 sun-screen lotions, 500 sun hats, 500 lip balms and 500 Dettol soaps and 750 Dettol liquids to at least 250 people living with albinism.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Stanbic Bank board member, Nelly Jinjika said there was need for increased awareness on issues affecting people living with albinism so as to rid society of the stigma and discrimination against albinism
“Albinism is widely misunderstood and it’s attached to a lot of stigmas and people because they don’t understand, they are afraid and the way in which they react to these beautiful people is always not the correct way. We might be different in one way and they need a little more extra special care but we are the same.
“I am so grateful for organisations such as yourselves (ALCOZ) that are there to help educate the public and the world on what albinism is. It’s such a privilege for us to assist with what we have to make their lives better lives as they go about their day to day activities. I know sunscreen is one of the biggest things that they need, repeat applications and the sun screen lip balms is also key because it helps them remain intact in terms of skin wise,” Jinjika.
The Stanbic donation will see beneficiaries receiving two tubes of sunscreen lotion each including children and adults in rural areas where most children have been affected by high temperatures resulting in massive damage to their skin and other conditions.
According to statics gathered by the 2012 National Statistical Office, Zimbabwe has a total of 39 000 people living with albinism and there was a growing number of people with the condition in communal areas.
Founder and director for Alcoz, Mrs Loveness Mainato said despite Stanbic being the biggest sponsor to albinism initiatives, other corporates and banks should also partner people living with albinism organisations in the provision of basic skin care lotions and wares so as to cover the whole albinism constituency.
“I would like to appreciate this organisation on behalf of ALCOZ, this is not the first time Stanbic bank has taken this stance, and they have developed it into a yearly culture. Stanbic has developed this partnership every year. The passion they have for people living with albinism, this kind gesture will take us a long way. The donation has come at a time it is needed the most.
“We are now into the hottest season of the year and they can’t do without the sunscreen lotions. We hope our partnership will remain bonded. We call upon all corporates and banks to take after Stanbic in assisting people with albinism,” said Mrs Mainato.
She added there was a huge demand for toiletries in the rural areas and extensive awareness was key.
“There is need of more campaign awareness in those areas. Many people are centering the eyes in people on urban areas and those areas seem to be neglected or forgotten.
“Can we take our friendship beyond the towns, I am pleading we just have one road show in partnership with albinism organisations. There is no way they will get these sun screens if more organisation do not participate in this initiative.”