During my time in Dar I stayed at the CEFA hostel. Here I met very interesting people dealing with a big and sometimes forgot issue. In the everyday struggle for life that many people are facing in developing countries, to be “not perfectly fit/different” since birth means to be doomed to an unhappy life, and sometimes to a tremendous death. Among projects carried on by CEFA (including also mozzarella production!) there was one called LESS is more: Labour, Empowerment and Social Services for vulnerable people, targeting among the others disable people and albinos. Albinos people in Tanzania and other African countries are considered to have magic power in their body, and therefore parts of their body are used as medicines. Which means that first their bodies are cut in pieces. Sometimes young girls are raped because deemed to be able to heal HIV. Terrible stories can be often read on newspapers about this.
On my bus trip to Iringa, I met an albino man, working on the bus. Zungu-zungu, he was called. I saw his skin was full of wounds due to the sun. For people with these problem, if they manage to survive superstition, then the sun becomes the first enemy, and sun cancers or skin diseases are very common. At CEFA, I also met a spanish men who is part of an NGO volunteer 100%. They are carrying on a project for improving life expectancy in albino people. In Moshi they are building a hospital for healing skin cancers, and then they are producing sun screen cream to be sold in Spain to raise awareness in people globally and then collect funds to produce the same in Tanzania, for saving people life.
How much do we care, even in our developed world, about people with disabilities, or as we say “differently able”? I have never seen one on tv on the king chair..
In Tanzania I came to know other two projects involving people with disabilities. One is in Aruha, and it’s named Shanga. Here people with disabilities recycle glass and aluminium and produce beads, glasses, and many other objects, including tables and chair from recycled tyres! They have a very nice garden, with a bar and a restaurant beside the shop.
A second one, even more interesting for their price policy, is NeemaCrafts, in Iringa, which was started with a group deaf people employed for realizing products from recycled papers, and now it’s composed of many workshops producing also clothes. They also have a nice hostel, very quite, where I spent some day during my second Southern trip.
I got new ideas for my next projects…..