KOA Logo

Project for 2017

KOA Logo

The project  selected at the public meeting held on 28th January 2015 is:

Standing Voice Vision Programme - Eye care clinics addressing the complex visual impairment of people with albinism

Standing Voice is an international NGO based in Tanzania, with its headquarters in the United Kingdom. They exist to end human rights abuses against marginalised communities, and currently promote the social inclusion of people with albinism in Tanzania. Globally 1 person in 18,000 has albinism. In Sub-Saharan Africa, however, the condition has a much higher prevalence: 1 in 1,400 are affected in parts of Tanzania. In this region albinism is cloaked in ignorance and people with albinism rarely receive the rights and services they require. Often demonised as ‘white ghosts’ or supernatural curses, people with albinism are regularly denied access to healthcare, education, housing and employment. Babies are sometimes abandoned or killed at birth, and horrifyingly, hundreds of people with albinism across the continent have also been murdered for their body parts, used in witchcraft potions to bring wealth and fortune: in Tanzania, the epicentre of this crisis, 76 murders have been recorded since 2006.

People with albinism experience complex visual impairments. The melanin deficiency causes reduced pigmentation in the eye, increasing photosensitivity and impairing the ability of the iris to absorb light. As a result, people with albinism can experience discomfort in bright light. The front and back of the eye also develop differently due to the lack of melanin, altering the nerve connections between the eye and brain. This can lead to a number of eye conditions: Persons with albinism will typically lack precision or detail in their vision and many are classified as ‘legally blind’; They are often affected by nystagmus, a condition causing involuntary, irregular eye movements; Some will also develop an eye turn or strabismus due to a failure of the optical pathways to develop in the same way. Consequentially, around 40% of children and 60% of adults with albinism require corrective glasses

Optometry services, however, are extremely limited in Tanzania and East Africa. Without adequate care, these vision deficiencies affect education and employment levels of people with albinism. KOA funding will support the delivery of large-scale vision clinics and the prescription of essential vision devices to ensure 1,150 people with albinism in Tanzania reach their educational and professional aspirations

The full proposal can be downloaded by clicking on the project title.

Clicking on the charity's name will take you to the charity's own web site.

If you would like a printed copy of the full proposal, please phone or email Marilyn Farr (326519)  or Clive Rodgers (739447).