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1st June 2016

Standing Voice: vision for the future

Standing Voice is a brilliant charity that is tackling the social and medical obstacles faced by people with albinism in Tanzania and wider East Africa. Ignorance is one of the primary causes of social exclusion worldwide; by nurturing understanding and acceptance the charity hopes to create stronger communities that learn to live and work together, equipped with with the intellectual tools to support those less fortunate than themselves. 

At Zetteler we believe in equality and social inclusion. Having met Standing Voice’s founder and CEO Harry Freeland in her first week of university, Sabine and Harry have been friends ever since she took him to a Nitin Sawhney concert.  Today, Sabine is proud to be a trustee of Standing Voice and we will continue to support the Standing Voice mission to bring lasting change to marginalised groups. 

It’s common that people with albinism suffer from a melanin deficiency that reduces pigmentation in their skin, eyes and hair. This type of deficiency causes a complex visual impairment. As well as experiencing social exclusion on the grounds of their physical appearance, people with albinism can also suffer from limited eyesight that negatively affects their school experience. Historically, with very limited optometry services available in Tanzania, little has been done to address this.

Established in early 2014, Standing Voice’s Vision Programme is a network of clinics delivering low-vision care across seven regions of Tanzania. Last month Standing Voice coordinated a three-day event delivering care and education to 302 patients with albinism from across the Lake Zone of Tanzania. Held on March 13–15 at Malaika Beach Resort in Mwanza City, this event launched a three year partnership between Standing Voice and Vision For Life, a charitable initiative created by Essilor.

Having partnered with Essilor, Under The Same Sun, Tanzania Albinism Society, New Light Children Centre Organisation, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre and the Tanzania Optometric Association, Standing Voice will now be able to reach more than four times the number of people that they have previously. By providing examinations, magnifiers, education and sunglasses to 4,200 students, Vision for Life’s support will improve educational opportunities and visual health for many children with albinism. 

You can find out more about Standing Voice’s Vision Programme work here. Below is a film from the recent event in Mwanza, Tanzania. 

Images above and below: from the Vision Event programme, courtesy of Standing Voice


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