Story by Imani LaTortue, ONE Digital Intern. Special thanks to Room to Read.
Children in rural Tanzania face a multitude of barriers preventing them from achieving a quality education. For children with albinism, the uncertainties are amplified. According to the United Nations, at least 75 people with albinism were killed in Tanzania between 2000 and 2015.
People living with albinism can face a variety of stigmas and cultural beliefs regarding their condition. Some communities adhere to superstitions and think individuals with albinism are ghosts, cursed, or have limbs containing magic powers. As a result, children like Habsa are at risk of being ostracized or even killed.
Despite the safety concerns, Habsa insisted on going to school. She was helped along the way by Room to Read, a nonprofit organization that works with local communities and governments to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with skills to succeed in school and beyond.
With access to an early grade curriculum, caring instructors, and an expansive library, Habsa was able to not only catch up, but accelerate to a higher grade level and test 21st out of 63 in her class. Watch the video to learn a bit more about Habsa and her inspiring determination: