Sandrine’s life has been transformed with Cord’s support. Challenging prejudice towards Albino children means that she and other children can now live in peace in their Burundian community.
16-year-old, Sandrine suffered constant threats and feared for her life because she, and two of her seven siblings are Albino. The threats were so serious that Sandrine’s mother had her move in to a protected community in the parish of Giharo.
She lived with 15 other Albino children in this safe environment. Customs and fetishes concerning Albino people, particularly children, exist in some communities. Sometimes children are even murdered so that parts of their bodies can be taken. Once in the protected community Sandrine was able to feel safe and happy.
Cord recognised that to prevent future risk it was crucial to challenge people’s superstitions and promote peaceful living for all within communities like Sandrine’s. To achieve this, we funded a project to train people in children’s rights, with a focus on shifting perceptions through the voices of children with experience. Sandrine took a lead role in this work by acting as an agent for change in the community she grew up in.
She helps to train young people in social skills with a focus on ways to avoid behaviours that could prevent everyone living peacefully in her community. She said:
“On every occasion I advocate for the rights of all children and especially Albino children.”
Sandrine has been able to guide and inform not only her peers, but also adults with the hope of preventing future Albino children facing the discriminations and threats she faced.
This role has not only changed how her community views the role of children and Albino people, it has also helped Sandrine to view herself differently. She explained:
“Personally, after the training, I felt an inner change in my life. I felt fully human, deserving the same rights and protection as anyone else.”
Projects like this have a huge effect on communities and a lasting impact for future generations. Your support can help more young people feel safe and happy, as well as providing them with a space to safely express their worries.