"Government cannot do it alone, thus, an enabling environment
has been put in place to accommodate assistance from
partners, including non-governmental organisations and the
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"These awareness-raising programmes become effective when
complemented by donations like the one before us from
Zimplats consisting of sunglasses, sun creams and sun hats to
persons with albinism in Mashonaland West."
The sun-protection items will be received by 500 beneficiaries,
some in Matabeleland North province. Minister Zhuwao said
albinism was still misunderstood as evidenced by a range of
prejudices and social stigma faced by people living with the
condition. "These emanate from myths and misconceptions
which foster their marginalisation and social exclusion," he said.
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"It is for these reasons that, as a nation, we need to raise
awareness and protect our fellow citizens against discrimination
and abuse." Minister Zhuwao said in line with the United Nations
conventions, people with albinism should be respected.
Zimplats Holdings chief executive Mr Alex Mhembere said while
some parents had the burden of raising children with albinism,
others were rejecting them.
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"We also note that children within some communities end up
dropping out of schools for various reasons related to their
condition such as exposure to the sun during certain activities or
poor eyesight," he said.
"Due to these factors, people with albinism remain one of the
most vulnerable groups in the country." Mr Mhembere said the
"Friends with Albinism Campaign" was designed to drive the
integration of people with albinism in society and showing them
that they were equal with others in every aspect. "In the
audience today we have church and business leaders,
members of the community, opinion leaders, policymakers and
service providers," he said.
"My challenge to you is that we all need to make an effort to
address subconscious biases we may have against people with
albinism. Because you have started this journey with us by
being a part of today's proceedings, we are urging you to be a
true equal-opportunities employer by considering people with
albinism who have the appropriate qualifications for
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