In continuation of its promise to assist the less privileged albinos in Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Onome Akinlolu Majaro (OAM) Foundation, has put a smile on the face of an albino child, Divine Udochukwu, a primary four pupil of Young Nation Primary School, Okota in Lagos, by awarding her a scholarship.
The scholarship, the Albino Foundation says, will cover up to university level, adding that Divine’s special talent and her passion to excel in her studies, despite albinism, positioned her for the award.
The foundation, not too long ago, also offered a scholarship to one Mr. Kalu Victor, a blind albino student of History and Strategic Studies at the University of Lagos, Akoka, in its quest to promote the welfare of albinos in the country and to also end all forms of stigma and discrimination against them.
Victor’s scholarship covered his tuition and accommodation fees for the four-year programme.
Speaking during the scholarship’s formalization in Lagos, recently, Logistics Officer and Ambassador of the Albino Foundation, Mr. Ugochukwu Orji, said though the foundation was still self-sponsored, it will continue to fashion out ways of assisting the less privileged albinos in the society.
Orji said the OAM Foundation, which is committed to ending stigma and discrimination against people living with albinism in the country and beyond, was founded on the belief that enlightenment, added with a little act of love and kindness, could change the way people living with albinism are treated all over the world, especially in developing countries like Nigeria, where they were still faced with huge stigma and discrimination.
“Apart from Kalu and Divine, a lot of albinos will still benefit from our scholarship programme once we get sponsorship. We are out to change the stories of albinos in Nigeria and to support them to excel and actualise their dreams through empowerment. Besides scholarship and empowerment, we have also given free glasses to over 100 albinos in the country to aid their vision.
“We are doing a lot to change the narrative, except that we are restricted by the problem of funding. So, I want to use this medium, to appeal to corporate bodies and organizations to support what we are doing, so that we can impact more lives,” he said.
Orji called on Nigerians to stop stigmatising people living with albinism, stressing that the condition is not a disease, but only a genetic disorder.
Expressing delight over the gesture, young Divine, who said she desired to be a medical doctor in the future, added: “I am happy for the scholarship. God bless OAM Foundation.”
Also commending the foundation, Divine’s mother, Mrs. Happiness Udochukwu, who could not hide her joy, said the scholarship would help reduce the cost of taking care of her daughter, adding that everything about albinism was expensive, ranging from eye care, skincare, food and then their education, which required special care as well.