ALBINISM COMMUNITY BENEFITS FROM DIGNITY PACKS DONATIONS
29 August 2020
By Johannes Seabela
Persons with albinism in the eMalahleni area in Mpumalanga province are benefitting from donations of dignity packs from a non–profit organisation, Melokuhle Albinism Foundation.
Founded by Tryphina Nhlapo, Melokuhle has a growing database of more than 50 persons with albinism. The foundation has partnered with Mayor Lina Malatjie’s office, which provides transport for deliveries, and a few corporates and individuals for the purchasing of the supplies.
“ I started the initiative because I saw there was no existing structure within the eMalahleni local municipality that caters for persons with Albinism my mission is to help fight the imminent threat of skin cancer we all face as persons with Albinism “.
The dignity packs are made up of a hat and sun protection products such as sun screen, lip therapy and after sun lotion.Nhlapo’s foundation distributes the packs quarterly, and the last distribution was in June.
Though beneficiaries are in all age groups, those under 18 take priority, especially if they are from destitute families.
Nhlapo says it was a challenge at first to get persons with albinism and their families to participate in her NPO because they believed she wanted to make money out of this initiative.
She saw that there was no existing structure within the eMalahleni local municipality to cater for persons with albinism in the fight against the threat of skin cancer.
Comfort Ngobe, acting head of communications at the Mpumalanga department of social development, says, “We as [the department] are aware of the great work done by Mrs Nhlapo with her NPO Melokuhle Albinism Foundation and we encourage her to continue her good work as challenging as it is to get the funding. We will also try to get her linked with NGOs for funding.”
One of the recipients, Mahlatse Magoro, says, “Donations from Melokuhle help us a lot since their SPF is of high-quality, SPF 50+. It protects the skin and these donations help us save money as a result.”
Nhlapo says she plans to lobby mines in the area to help with sponsorship, particularly since lockdown is presenting many people with economic challenges. She would also like to get sponsorship for spectacles.