Image of Harerimana Jean Pierre
Can you please tell us briefly about yourself?

My name is Harerimana Jean Pierre I live with albinism. My little brother died in a tree accident when we were young. My parents died when I was still little child. I had to leave school in P5 because I had no support.

The main challenge that I face is that people do not understand that I am able to do something. People still think that because I live with albinism I cannot achieve or accomplish something in a good manner. Sometimes, when I apply for a job they think that people who live with albinism are not capable people, which is not true. There are also prejudices against me because I look different from most other Rwandese people. For example, once I went to request a job in a restaurant as server. The manager of that restaurant told me that he cannot give that job as I might cause him to lose customers. If they find me there or even serving them they will not come back again. It was very disappointing.

Because no one will hire me I thought I would start my own business but it is hard to start a business with no money. This worries me because one day I would like to have a family but to do this I really need to have enough money to take care of them. It is a difficult situation for me but I believe in God and if I get an opportunity I will work hard to achieve financial independence and have a family.

Is there anything you would like to say to people about living with albinism or other people in general?

First of all I would like to express my gratitude to Father Bonaventure and Amizero association in general for their help. I have friends and relatives who no longer think that I am the only person who looks like I do. I have new ideas and encouraging messages that increases my hope of living and achieve my goals. May God bless them!

For people who live with albinism I can tell them to be strong and never give up because nothing comes from nothing. We have to work hard and never give up.

Image of Marie José Uwanyirigira
Can you please tell us briefly about yourself?

My name is Marie José Uwanyirigira, I am 29 years old. I was born the last of 9 children and I am the only person with albinism at home. When I was a child, I was not allowed to go out in public as others would laugh at me or insult my family because of me. I was never allowed to play with others or go to parties. I missed out on the affection that most children get. Even from my parents. I try not to think about it. It upsets me.

What is the most pressing challenge that you actually meet in your life as a person with albinism?

I think the main problem that people with albinism face is that society does not understand them. We are excluded. This results in a miserable life and unemployment. To my own experience I do not have any job. If I can apply somewhere I am sure no one will hire me. People do not recognize my ability, they think that I am a disabled person with no ability. This is not true. I want to have some work to do for myself that can raise my living conditions without depending on help of others. Though I live with albinism I do not have any other physical issue. I can work and think clearly.

What else can you tell people with albinism?

I can tell them to be courageous in whatever they are doing. Never give up. There are some people who really recognize and value us as human beings. Have hope that we will get out of struggle. We are the primary source of our achievement. Heroism is striven for not born with. The society of Rwanda and even the whole world should give value people who live with albinism.

Resources for People with Albinism