Learners from Filadelfia Secondary School singing during the #ICanBe campaign launch at Freedom Park on International Albinism Awareness Day yesterday. Jacques Naude 
African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - The Albinism Advocacy for Access Foundation celebrated the International Albinism Awareness Day by launching a campaign aimed at keeping high school learners living with the condition at school.

Launching the campaign at Freedom Park yesterday, the foundation’s chief executive, Mpho Tjope, said many learners dropped out because of the various challenges they faced.

“Many young people with albinism drop out of school and suffer from ill-health as a result of lack of timeous and affordable access to spectacles, learning materials in an appropriate format, sunscreen and more.

“All learners with albinism in the programme will be assisted to obtain suitable spectacles and learning materials, and have access to quality sunscreen and protective clothing.”

The event was attended by pupils from Filadelfia School from Soshanguve, university students, prominent figures and poets.

The day was filled with entertainment and inspirational talks from people living with albinism.

It was celebrated under the theme “Still Standing Strong”.

Tjope said more than 450 learners across the country would benefit from the programme over the next three years.

Two pupils from Filadelfia had already benefited.

He said those who had already dropped out of school but wished return and to benefit from the programme first needed to commit themselves and enrol in any formal programme. Financial support for post-school education and training would also be provided.

“We aim to end isolation and promote social inclusion by ensuring that learners in the programme participate in sports and recreation activities that promote inclusion,” he said.

In addition, the campaign would also restore self-confidence in bullied pupils and those who had been the victims of discrimination.

One of the beneficiaries, a first-year BCom accounting student at the University of Pretoria, Success Mdluli, encouraged the guests to keep “soldiering on” despite all the challenges.

“The programme has helped me restore my confidence and laid a concrete foundation for me.

“I came out of the programme optimistic about the future and with the desire to work hard; so it is possible even when you have this condition,” he said.

Pretoria News