Susie Kitchens discusses visual impairment and albinism with Florence Mithika

Florence Mithika and Susie Kitchens
Florence Mithika and Susie Kitchens. Photo: Twitter/FlorenceMithik2

Yesterday, UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Susie Kitchens met with Chokey Albinism Programme Manager and Sightbox UK facilitator Florence Mithika.

Florence, from Nairobi, was born with Albinism which is a genetic condition characterised by the lack of skin pigment melanin in the skin, hair and eyes. The lack of melanin in the skin and eyes makes people with Albinism vulnerable to the dangerous ultra Violet rays of the sun meaning those who are born with condition often suffer from severe visual impairments and can only work away from the sun.

These challenges have contributed to severe poverty levels among those living with albinism due to low employment or unemployment rates and discrimination, with some even rejected even by their own families.

The two discussed albinism in Kenya as well as the work of Sightbox UK and working with the UK Department for International Development to change lives among those with visually impairment in the country.

Liverpool based charity Sightbox supports children around the world with sight loss. Their mission is to tackle the segregation of visually impared children in the developing world.

Florence has worked with Sightbox UK on the Empowering Albinism Economically initiative by Sightbox UK designed to help create awareness of the condition and fascilitate a two days socio-economic empowerment skills training programme that will equip those with Albinism with skills of employability, entrepreneurship, as well as leadership and social skills to raise their lives standards.

Nairobi based Choksey Albinism provide free ophthalmic services and photocromatic lenses to persons with albinism and also pay school fees for them, especially those from disadvantaged families.

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