The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) has emphasized on the need to promote literacy levels among people with albinism in a bid to allow them to actively participate in various development endeavors in their communities.
The Commissions’ Gender officer responsible for Mangochi Diocese, Gevasio Nicholas, made the call in Balaka on Friday during an orientation and capacity building training focusing on the rights of people with Albinism which drew members of the Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) Balaka chapter as well as members of Area Development Committees (ADC’s) drawn across the district.
Nicholas said: ”Generally, women have been left behind in various development activities and, women with albinism are not exceptional. They are more vulnerable to various forms of abuse and injustices.”
He further suggested on the need to work on bridging the knowledge gap that exist among people living with albinism, arguing that they can actively participate in development projects if they are aware of their rights and also if they are conversant with legal instruments.
On her part, APAM vice Chairperson for Balaka District, Shira Mnema, commended CCJP for the training describing it as an eye opener.
”For a long time, people with albinism have been sidelined in their communities. Some sectors in the societies believe that we are not capable to participate in various activities but the training has really helped us to know more about our rights such that we are now ready to demand our participation in various activities in our communities,” she said.
CCJP with funding from the Canadian Government is carrying out a five month long project dubbed ‘The protection and promotion of the rights of people with albinism’ in the districts of Mangochi and Balaka.
According to the Population and Housing Census (PHC) conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO) in 2018, Malawi has a population of 134,636 people with albinism and about 87% of them live in the rural areas.
The report further says Mangochi has 9,684 people with albinism while Balaka has 3159 of which many are women.
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