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Salama Zaidi Lamadi (Safer in Lamadi) - The betterment of housing conditions and safety of children and the youth with albinism through the construction of the dormitory and fencing the caring center in Lamadi

A centre for children affected by albinism has been operating in the town of Lamadi since 2011. Albinism is a rare genetic disorder that, for unknown reasons, frequently occurs in Tanzania. Children with albinism are vulnerable, as they can become an object of trade, kidnapping, mutilation or even murder. The purpose of such actions is to acquire their body parts, which are used to make amulets that, according to local beliefs, bring luck and success.

The centre in Lamadi has more than 100 children under its care. Some children are temporarily housed in the school dormitory, and 65 live permanently in the Lamadi centre. There are 10 female guardians in charge of children aged from 6 months to 19 years. Despite the danger to the children, the centre was not fenced in, had no electricity, running water, plumbing facilities or basic furnishings.

For several years now, the children from the centre for albinos in Lamadi have been receiving support from the Catholic Parish in Kiabakari, administered by Fr. Wojciech Kościelniak, located about 60 km from Lamadi. The parish has become the main foreign partner of the Kiabakari Foundation. The most important needs of the centre, and consequently the detailed scope of the project, were outlined in November 2016 during a visit paid by representatives of the Kiabakari Foundation and the Kiabakari Catholic parish priest to the Lamadi centre.

Salama Zaidi Lamadi (Safer in Lamadi) - The betterment of housing conditions and safety of children and the youth with albinism through the construction of the dormitory and fencing the caring center in Lamadi

The project was addressed to children affected by albinism and living in the centre in Lamadi. The aim of the project was to ensure safety and basic sanitary, hygienic and health conditions for the children.

A dormitory was built on the grounds of the centre, with bathrooms and appropriate furnishings. The grounds were fenced in, an entrance gate was installed and a guardhouse for the watchman was erected. The project also included training for the children and for their guardians on the subject of children’s rights as well as the options for treatment and hygiene of sensitive skin and eyes. Participation in the training was designed to help the children recognise their worth, gain confidence, learn about the methods of dealing with the disease and how to become self-reliant in everyday life.

An additional element of the project was the organisation of a visit for the children from the centre in Lamadi to the primary school in Kiabakari, so that they could establish contacts with their peers, take part in shared games and workshops, which is beneficial not only for the children with albinism but also for healthy children who come to realise that lack of skin pigment should not be a reason for discrimination in society.

Thanks to the cooperation with the mission in Kiabakari, the children were provided with medical treatment and care at the health centre in Kiabakari, which is developing with the support of Polish Development Aid. The children were also given ophthalmic and dental care by the Tazama Na Tabasamu [Look and Smile] clinic, established in Kiabakari thanks to Polish Development Aid 2016. Medical care will be provided in Kiabakari until a small health clinic is opened in Lamadi.

Salama Zaidi Lamadi (Safer in Lamadi) - The betterment of housing conditions and safety of children and the youth with albinism through the construction of the dormitory and fencing the caring center in Lamadi

As a result of the project’s implementation, safety was ensured for the wards of the centre in Lamadi who are affected by albinism, thanks to the construction of a dormitory, a guardhouse and fencing for the centre.

The housing and sanitary conditions of the residents of the centre were greatly improved with the completion of the new dormitory, with separate bedrooms for girls and boys as well as toilets, equipped with electrical, sanitary and solar installations. In the new dormitory, four bedrooms were created (two for girls and two for boys) as well as two rooms and a bathroom for the guardians, ten toilets, ten showers and two storage rooms. For the children’s bedrooms, 70 bunk beds were purchased, together with bedsheets and towels. Purchased furnishings included tables, chairs, cabinets, fire extinguishers and relevant pictograms.

By establishing contacts with the health centre and the dental and ophthalmic clinic in Kiabakari, the children were provided with regular access to medical care, which should lead to an improvement of the state of health of the wards of the centre.

Under the project, all of the following planned training courses were carried out:

  • fire safety,
  • nutrition and healthy eating,
  • the psychology of work with a child,
  • photoprotection with the use of preparations with protective filters,
  • ophthalmic course with an eye examination and selection of glasses for the children.

Through training for the children, including in particular a two-week self-defence course, self-esteem and confidence were greatly improved among the children, making contact with their peers easier.