Skin Cancer Trust Fund

The skin cancer trust fund is a dedicated fund aimed at providing the necessary funds that will enable the foundation ensure the prevention and access to treatment of persons with albinism affected with skin cancer in Nigeria. The fund, which has a joint account between the foundation and other partners such as the media, donor agencies, National hospital Abuja, Federal Ministry of Health ensures adequate monitoring of the funds that comes in and goes out.

The skin cancer trust fund was also premised on the need to provide comprehensive care and treatment for all persons with albinism affected with skin cancer due to the continuous rise on the number of persons with albinism affected with skin cancer and the increase in number of deaths by persons with albinism affected with skin cancer. The project is specifically meant to reduce the high rise of skin cancer among persons with albinism in Nigeria; reduce the financial burden of paying for cancer treatment by persons with albinism and their families; establish a continued source of funding for skin cancer treatment for persons with albinism; increase treatment and rehabilitation rate and overall number of treated persons diagnosed with skin cancer; and increase access to specialized tertiary healthcare by persons with albinism.

Though, persons with albinism affected with skin cancer are being treated at the National Hospital, Abuja; unfortunately, the services provided by the hospital is skeletal services where patients with albinism are expected to provide for drugs and other treatment while the hospital provides minor surgery services. This arrangement has become a cause for concern not only to persons with albinism affected with skin cancer, but also to the foundation. It is a concern because 99% of persons with albinism affected with skin cancer in Nigeria are very poor and cannot afford the treatment cost of cancer.

The dedicated account will enable donors, individuals, organisations and corporate bodies to donate any amount no matter how small or big the contribution might be. It is expected that 70% of the amount so generated will go to National Hospital while 30% will go to the foundation for the administrative expenses of running the projects. Some of the monies realised will be used for creating awareness and procurement of sunscreen lotion for the prevention of skin cancer. Prevention they say it is better than cure.

As the foundation tries to ensure that those who are affected with skin cancer are treated, emphases will be paid to prevention measures. That is, creating awareness through various media channels, organise workshop for persons with albinism and their parents and production of different Information Education and Communication materials and also ensuring that the messages are translated into the three major Nigeria languages. The burden of cancer treatment is more tasking and demanding than prevention. Therefore, the foundation will ensure that the rate of increase of skin cancer among persons with albinism are brought down to the barest minimum.

We, therefore call on all to donate to this fund to enable the foundation to reduce effect of skin cancer in albinism community in Nigeria.

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Economic Empowerment Initiative

As part of the TAF’S vision of ensuring equal oppotunitie for PWA in Nigeria, the foundation have initiated this project to ensur that PWA are wconomically epowered to live quality and fulfilled lives. In 2012, the foundation, in partnership with MDG, empowerd 30 of her members through various skills aquisation trainings. Presently, the foundtion is working with Institute of Human Virology of Nigeria to empower parents and caregiversof children with albinism. So far, 12 caregivers have benefited rom this partnership.

Again, in 2015 TAF, in partnership with SURE P, enrolled 10 of her members into the SURE P Entreprenue training programme. The foundation is looking to partner with more agecies in the future to bring similar oppotunities to her members.

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Membership Drive Initiative

This initiative is aimed at improving the numerical strength of the foundation. Presently the foundation have 5,000 registerd members – this includes PWA and non PWA. The foundation is looking to have a membership strength of 120,000 persons – consisting of 100,000 PWA and 20,000 non PWA by the end of 2020.

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National/ International Albinism Awareness Day

With the United Nations approval of 13th June every year as International Albinism Awareness Day and the federal Government of Nigeria approval of 5th May as National Albinism Day, the foundation intends to use these days every year to educate and enlighten members of the public on the many challenges faced by persons with albinism in Nigeria and the world.

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Scholarship/ Education Grant Project

The Scholarship / Education Grant Project aims to ensure that indigent children with albinism who cannot afford school are taken care of with their fees and sundries with scholarships / grants from the foundation’s partners. The scholarship also covers tertiary and post-graduate opportunities.

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Education Trust Fund

The right to education is universal and extends to all children, youth, and adults with disabilities. This right is enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2008). It is also addressed in several significant, international declarations, including the World Declaration for Education for All (1990), the UNESCO Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action (1994), and the Dakar Framework for Action (2000).

It is also one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which states to Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. This goal cannot be achieved in Nigeria if a certain population within the society are left out of this noble initiative as a result of colour, religion, ethnicity, social and economic status, cultural and religious background. This is pertinent in view of the many challenges confronting children with albinism, which include children dropping out of school because of poverty from their parents/guardians, parents not wanting to send their albino children to school due to the mistaken belief that albinos cannot do well in school, children with albinism refusing to go to school because of bullying, stigma and discrimination from peers and teachers.

How this goal will be attainable for children with albinism and albinism community in general is a question to be answered by the state. What effort is being put in place by state towards ensuring that this vulnerable population have access to quality and affordable education is another question begging for an answer.

From the study on children with albinism in Nigeria carried out by the foundation and supported by UNICEF, it was discovered that 40% of persons with albinism in Nigeria are children. This is a large number that cannot be ignored if Nigeria is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 4 of the United Nations Target.

Presently, the foundation has sent over three hundred children with albinism to school through partnership and collaboration with other private and international development organisations such a Total Staff Cooperative Society, UNICEF and IHVN. The foundation is currently paying school fees and other logistics of 140 children cut across the federation.

The Foundation’s Education Trust Fund is aimed at ensuring that persons with albinism especially children with albinism who are not in school due to one reason or the other have access to quality education. The outcome of the education trust fund will reduce the number of out-of-school children with albinism in Nigeria; improve school enrolment among children with albinism; improve learning and teaching of albinism education in schools; and reduce the illiteracy level in Nigeria especially within the vulnerable population.

The Education Trust Fund will enable the foundation to have a pool of fund where it can rely on to have as many children with albinism in schools. In so doing, more children who are out of school due to one reason or the other can be sent to school.

Seventy percent (70%) of the money realised will be used specifically for the children school fees, uniforms, books, sandals etc. while the remaining 30% will be used by the foundation to run the administrative expenses.

We, therefore, call on all and sundry to support the foundation in sending at least a child to school.

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Back to School Project

The project is aimed at ensuring that children with albinism of school age who dropped out of school as a result of stigmatisation, discrimination and myths associated with albinism are sent back to school. In 2014, the foundation partnered with Education Support System in Nigeria (ESSPIN) to run the first phase of this project. The project was implemented in three senatorial zones in Kaduna State and one senatorial zone in Enugu State in the form of sensitisation workshops. During the workshops, teachers, education secretaries, policy makers, PWA and parents of PWA were mobilised with the assistance of SUBEB. The aim of this project was to increase the number of enrolled children with albinism in schools. The information disseminated bothered on how to cope with PWA in a class room setting, health challenges associated with albinism as well as policies that should be in place to safeguard the wellbeing of PWA in Nigeria. The foundation looks to extend this projects to other senatorial zones in Nigeria come 2016.

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Sunscreen Project

The Sunscreen Project is aims to ensure that persons with albinism are provided with sunscreen to help prevent skin cancer related diseases. TAF presently have an MOU signed with SebaMed, (a Germany based pharmaceutical company) and Federal Government of Nigeria for the manufacture and supply of sunscreen lotions. These products are distributed free to members of the foundation. So far, more than 5,000 free sunscreen lotions have been distributed.

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