WHAT WE DO
WHAT WE DO
Advocacy and Awareness Raising
ZIMAS seeks to eliminate the stigma and discrimination that persons with albinism face in the society as well as advancing their rights. We engage in workshops, seminars, radio talk shows, Television programs and other media interviews to enlighten the society about the plight of persons with albinism. In Zimbabwe, persons with albinism fall victim to multiple forms of discrimination due to the colour of their skin and are sometimes ritualized or seen as the product of witchcraft. Due to this, they are often systematically excluded from education, employment and social opportunities on an equal basis with others.
ZIMAS advocates for the rights of persons with albinism at national level though influencing policy in areas such as education, health and employment. ZIMAS promotes social, political and economic participation of persons with albinism. We also participate in various forums that aim at advancing the rights of persons with disabilities and we are a member of the Human Rights Commission (Special Interest Group)
We promote access to education for persons with albinism from primary to tertiary level. We source funding to finance scholarships for students with albinism and we offer first preference to those residing in the rural areas who are more vulnerable and have limited access to quality education. We also assist students with albinism to enroll in colleges and universities for further education and training.
ZIMAS has professional counsellors and peer counsellors who provide their services free of charge to persons with albinism and parents/guardians of persons with albinism. We also offer self-confidence and self-esteem coaching services. Due to stigma and discrimination persons with albinism tend to have low self-esteem and self-confidence and some withdraw themselves form societal participation. Self-acceptance is also a challenge that persons with albinism face and parents of children with albinism may also find it difficult to accept a child with albinism. Our psychosocial support programs seek to eliminate these challenges which are detrimental to the social, economic and political participation of persons with albinism in the society.
ZIMAS strives to empower persons with albinism in an effort to make them self-sustainable. We partner with other organisations and source funding for our members to start income generating projects. We also lobby and encourage private and public corporates to employ persons with albinism. Persons with albinism face serious levels of unemployment as most organizations are reluctant to employ people with albinism and they find it difficult to get employment even when they are reasonably educated due to the myths surrounding albinism. These challenges make it difficult for a person with albinism to carter for themselves let alone their family. ZIMAS seeks to eliminate these challenges through empowering persons with albinism so that they can be able to meet their own needs.
ZIMAS seeks to improve the healthcare of persons with albinism though;
1. Provision of sunscreen lotions.
We distribute sunscreen lotion to our members for free. Sunscreen lotion is vital for persons with albinism as it protects their skin from sunburns thereby reducing the risk of skin cancer. Due to the economic challenges that persons with albinism face sunscreen lotion is not affordable to many and it is beyond reach for those residing in the rural areas. ZIMAS undertake periodical distribution of sunscreen lotion countrywide
2. Facilitating access to skin cancer treatment.
ZIMAS partners with private doctors and dermatologists to assist persons with albinism get skin cancer screening free of charge or at affordable prices. We also partner with the Zimbabwean government through the ministry of Health and the ministry of Social welfare to ensure that persons with albinism have access to affordable skin cancer treatment. Skin cancer is the major cause of death for persons with albinism. ZIMAS endeavors to reduce skin cancer infections on persons with albinism in Zimbabwe through promoting and increasing access to skin cancer treatment and regular skin checkups.
3. Facilitating access to prescribed spectacles.
ZIMAS partners with private opticians to assist persons with albinism acquire prescribed spectacles for free. Persons with albinism are short sighted and the degree of shortsightedness differs from person to persons hence they require prescribed spectacles. We assist at least 4 persons with albinism every month to acquire spectacles. First preference is given to school going children as spectacles are very vital for their performance in school.