Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre (MHRRC) – one of the country’s oldest human rights organizations in the country – has been commended for promoting and protecting rights of persons with albinism through its Cultivating an Environment for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (CEPPAM) Project.
With financial support from European Union (EU) through Christian Blind Mission (CBM), MHRRC is implementing CEPPAM Project in six districts of Dowa, Chiradzulu, Chikwawa, Ntcheu, Mangochi and Lilongwe.
The overall objective of the project is to promote, protect and defend the fundamental rights of persons with albinisms in Malawi by empowering them with necessary knowledge and skills to understand their rights and to hold duty-bearers to account and eliminate all forms of violence, strengthening policy and legal frameworks to protect, promote and defend their rights.
And speaking in Dowa at a review meeting organized for traditional leaders, police, Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) members, officials from the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, and journalists, the stakeholders expressed satisfaction with the contribution the project has made in protecting and promoting rights of persons with albinism in the said districts.
Chief Disability Affairs Officer in the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Joshua Mkwehiwa, thanked MHRRC for initiating the project, which he said has made a lot of progress in promoting rights of persons with albinism in Malawi.
But Mkwehiwa, who is also responsible for the implementation of the National Action Plan, emphasized the need for a multi-sectoral approach in the protection and promotion of the rights of persons with albinism.
APAM president Young Muhamba commended MHRRC for effectively implementing CEPPAM project, observing that the project fostered coordination amongst key players.
Muhamba added that the project also helped persons with albinism and the general public to understand albinism and how best they can promote and protect rights of persons with albinism.
“APAM is committed to continue working with MHRRC beyond the lifespan of the CEPPAM project,” he said.
In his remarks, Senior Chief Sultan Chowe of Mangochi district echoed Muhamba, saying the interventions MHRRC implemented under the project helped in respecting rights of persons with albinism in Malawi.
MHRRC Executive Director Emma Kaliya expressed satisfaction with how the project has been managed.
Kaliya said, among others, that the project made positive strides in ensuring respect for rights of persons with albinism, advocated for the availability of sunscreen lotions in various health facilities, minimised stigma and reduced killings of persons with albinism.
She asked the government not to relax, but to continue with interventions as the project is phasing out.