Tanzania has a history of widespread kidnappings and murders targeting individuals with albinism, driven by the superstitious belief in the healing properties of their body parts. About one quarter of St. Francis’ students live with albinism, making them particularly vulnerable.
Safety and education for children with albinism and disabilities in rural Tanzania.
- Safety and inclusion: Provide the children living at St. Francis with a safe, integrative and emotionally enriching environment.
- Education: Support primary school education at St Francis and defray secondary school fees for especially vulnerable students who board there.
- Engaging the Massai: Advocate with the Massai people to encourage grater school attendance.
The St. Francis Boarding School is administered by 11 Catholic nuns lead by Sister Maria Benedicta (also known as Sister Mosha), teachers, and other support staff. The school offers care and primary education to children with blindness, physical disabilities, and albinism from extremely poor families, including children from the Masai people.
Over the years, the DEAR Foundation Switzerland has provided comprehensive support to St. Francis, ranging from building a protective campus fence and maize grinding facility to establishing a school dining room and poultry farm. They have also funded nutritious supplementary infant food and covered school fees for students attending external institutions affiliated with St. Francis.