Uganda journalists are promoting digital tools to keep people with albinism involved in a fight for equal space, prevention of stereotype, stigma, segregation and ruthless murder instigated by lack of information on issues surrounding albinism.
This was revealed during the launch of www.pats-journal.com, as the country’s first online news platform aimed at inspiring people with albinism share their stories of hope, struggles, resilience and success in life with a notion that they too are human.
“This is an important milestone as far as sharing information is concerned” said the, Rt. Hon Rebecca A. Kadaga, the speaker of the Parliament of republic of Uganda who officiated at the launched of the website.
Hon. Kadaga applauded the team behind this venture and urged them to remain focused by helping bring more people together, lobby key stakeholders and policy makers into action through this digital space while sharing timely and important news and information on albinism.
Peter Ogik, the chairperson, Source of the Nile Union of Persons with Albinism – (SNUPA) echoed that, the numerous myth surrounding albinism that has in turn fueled cases of ritual murder and/or witch hunting of PWA is due to total lack of information.
Peter cited a phenomenon in which father of a child with Albinism was murdered in cold blood in Kamuli district, Eastern Uganda on the pretext that since could produce a child with albinism then he too has the blood and gene to bring about the much concocted wealth from the bloody murder of PWA.
“If people with Albinism truly had riches then our families would not be this poor, so many families here with children with albinism live in dare poverty why can’t they spare us live in peace”
He further revealed that, young children’s hair are forcefully chopped off besides people referring to them as ghost because they think we never die but just disappear, women are raped to cure HIV not knowing they are even making it worse.
It’s on this ground that, this website comes into play to run exclusive stories on Albinism that could have been neglected
According to Peter, Such misconception among propelled us to come up with this project, if not anything the first of its kind in Africa to help bridge the information gap as well as act as a resource reference point on albinism.
Pat Robert Larubi, the Chief Executive officer and founder, Pats-journal noted, that they will continue promoting activities associated with albinism such as documentation of human right related issues, policy analysis, positive attributes, efforts and contribution by People living with albinism as well as organization engaged in the struggle.
“A lot of people with albinism have issues that needs to be listened too and solution provided for by key policy makers in regards to their rights and protection and realizing this we thought of an online forums to share their experiences and educate the world about their woes” Pat said.
This is a unique way to engage the populace as far as albinism is concerned, being online forums has given us an insight into what challenges PWA faces while finding lasting solution when thy tell their stories to the world.
Since the launch of the website, more than 100 stories have been curated and posted on numerous topics including sexual reproductive health rights, human rights and protection, fashion, health and technology with far reaching impact.