On International Albinism Awareness Day, state-owned mobile telecommunication giant NetOne called on stakeholders to unite under the same voice in advocating for recognition of the rights of people with albinism in Zimbabwe by providing them with access to equal opportunities.
The commemorations were held on 13 June 2022 under the hashtags #UnitedInMakingOurVoiceHeard and #Inclusion4equality.
At an event that was sponsored by NetOne on 13 June at the Copota Schools for Blind in Masvingo, the company highlighted its interest in developing inclusive societies in the country.
The commemorations began with an awareness march from Masvingo CBD to Zimuto turn-off before the team then proceeded to Copota Schools for the official ceremony.
“As NetOne, we do not want to reinvent the wheel. Our mantra is “Leaving No One Behind” and this has become part of our organisation’s DNA,” NetOne spokesperson, Ms. Roselyn Chisveto said at the event.
“Over the years, NetOne has supported different disadvantaged and marginalised groups in our society including people with albinism. As an organisation, we have participated in different initiatives to assist local communities that we operate from, leaving no one and no society behind,” continued Ms. Chisveto.
“Albinism is not a curse and as such we have always been partners with organisations that support their welfare and their wellbeing.”
The mobile network operator has an ongoing partnership with the Albinism Charity Organisation in Zimbabwe (ALCOZ), a partnership covers raising awareness about the condition and how to manage it. The awareness campaign is a nationwide campaign that seeks to educate people to desist from discrimination, stigmatisation, and marginalisation against people with albinism.
Traditional practices and early childhood marriages are some of the main problems that people with albinism face.
At the same event, Mr. George Mafararikwa, a representative of ALCOZ explained that albinism is a rare, non-contagious, genetically inherited difference present at birth. He said albinism results in a lack of pigmentation (melanin) in the hair, skin, and eyes, causing vulnerability to the sun and bright light.
NetOne Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Raphael Mushanawani said his company will continue giving back to communities.
“We have a team that is working with ALCOZ and we are expecting tremendous results in raising awareness,” said Mr. Mushanawani.
“Through our programs with different stakeholders, we hope to also have many people with albinism taking up spaces in the ICT sector and becoming competitive. Albinism is not a curse, it’s just a different skin pigmentation,” Mr. Mushanawani added.