2016 / Editorial / Photo Essay

The Long Road to Equality

  • Photographer
    Ivan Lieman

This reportage highlights the daily lives of children with albinism in Kenya and the fact that they are as capable as any other child. The aim is to bring awareness and social consciousness about this disease. I have been primarily looking at how this disease affects children, and how if it is not addressed at this young age they won't stand a chance as adults in Africa's tough society. The lack of awareness in most households and in most schools leaves them without the same opportunities as the rest of the children. There is a huge lack of information available to them regarding the sensitive nature of their skin and the dangers of remaining exposed to the hot sun without the appropriate protection; leaving many dead every year due to skin cancer. Another huge problem is the lack of integration and acceptance in Kenya's society. Most of these children are sent to special needs schools (for the blind and for children with special needs) and leave without the right confidence or education to pursue a normal life in the outside world. Stigma also plays a key role in the un-adaptation of people with albinism in Africa. They are still classed as low class citizens and in most cases marginalised by society. But through awareness programs this and future generations of children stand a chance.