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Amadou, about 15 years old, came to the gate in August 2015. A tumour had developed around his eyes; his cheekbones were affected and a blackish crust was beginning to develop on one cheek.

This boy was evidence of how dangerous the Nigerian sun is for albino children. I had not been aware of the situation previously. Together with the Association committee in Switzerland, we decided to incorporate several albino children into the ‘Après-demain’ Centre.
To date, three young albino children aged six to 12 are enrolled in classes and computer courses, physical education, and all other Centre activities!
A psychologist was hired to provide awareness courses for the other students, since albino children are nicknamed ‘magic children’ and hunted for their organs and limbs. The rituals are ancient, founded on an old belief system that encourages the ingesting of albinos in some countries in Africa. They make talismans, amulets, and black magic.
Albino children are very sensitive to the sun, which is why they need sunscreen, long sleeved shirts and pants, sunglasses, and hats to protect them from Niger’s cancerous solar rays. Our infirmary takes special care of these children, under the guidance of a dermatologist in Zinder, who visits the Centre weekly.
Amadou was accompanied back to his village and father 112 kilometres from Zinder. No one can help him since his tumour is too far advanced. I bring medication to ease his pain each time I return to Niger, and spend time encouraging him.
How many other albino children are there in Zinder who could come to the Centre? We encourage them strongly to enrol in traditional Nigerian school classes, for their own protection but also so they can enjoy the company of their new classmates!


> Photos of the albino children and the young Amadou.
 
   

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