Albinism Multi-purpose Cooperative was established in 2017 to represent Persons with Albinism (PWA) in Zambia. This representation will mainly focus on acting as their voice in all spheres of life especially in the socio-economic sectors, where they are marginalized and stigmatized. Albinism Multipurpose Cooperative is affiliated to ZAPD (Zambia Agency of Persons with Disabilities) and ZAFOD (Zambia Federation of Disabilities)
Zambia and Africa at large faces an unprecedented crisis for people living with albinism – security, extreme shortage of skin protection cream, no proper empowerment schemes, and discrimination among many other things. It’s against this background that Albinism Multipurpose Cooperative was founded with an objective to attack the crisis and problems faced by PWA not through food handouts, but through advocacy, investing in different sectors of the economy and working with different stakeholders. In every investment 5% of the profits is given toward addressing the crisis faced by PWA. Through different investment schemes we are able to employ them, creating opportunities to end the vicious cycle of poverty and discrimination. Albinism Multipurpose Cooperative not only empowers PWA but is audited and monitored to ensure it keeps to core values and regulations. Albinism Multipurpose Cooperative’s bundle of services provides real solution for PWA.
Despite the efforts of many organizations and Governments, the vast majority of PWA still do not have access to healthcare, empowerment opportunities and better security or even semi-modern education. Most of the organizations trying to help PWA are based on handout with no investment schemes whatsoever. This has been the major reason for failure and inefficiency. There are many complicated reasons for this, but we believe that current organizations are following the wrong strategy to help like handouts, no proper auditing or monitoring and working in isolation which have more devastating results in the end.
We found that the individual items they needed to achieve a good life were quite common (e.g. education, empowerment and security). However, it was the multiple barriers they face that has prevented them from reaching success. For example:
- Education: Although education is widely available throughout Zambia, PWA cannot access due to long distances to schools making them vulnerable to the sun and kidnappers.
- Lack of sunscreen: Even if sunscreen is available at government health centres accessibility is limited to lack of information.
- Empowerment and opportunities: Lastly, even if a PWA has achieved some level of education, they are unable to connect and have access to empowerments like credit and other opportunity like jobs because they are seen as incapable.
We firmly believe that our solution is potentially a highly cost-effective and scalable way to bring better lives to PWA all across Zambia and Africa at large.