In some parts of Tanzania, if you are born with albinism you start life with a hefty price tag on your head.
Many believe that killing a baby born with the condition will bring them good luck. Parents are often forced to then sell their children’s body parts to witch doctors.
Acclaimed photographer Marinka Masséus created the photo series ‘Under the Same Sun’ to raise awareness about the awful situation people with albinism face in Tanzania.
Marinka’s aim is to show the beauty of people with albinism through her pictures. Her images show albino kids and non albino kids side by side.
She hopes to share a message of acceptance and encourage people to embrace their uniqueness.
Marinka said: “The fears and superstitions surrounding albinism run very deep in Tanzanian society. So deep that many women who give birth to a child with albinism are told to kill the baby at birth.’
The cases involving albino kids are nothing short of shocking.
In December 2014, four-year-old Pendo Emmanuelle was ripped from her mother’s arms. The police are yet to find her body.
In February 2015, 18-month-old Yohan Bahati was taken from his home and found dead days later.
He was found with all of his limbs hacked off. His mother suffered machete wounds to her face when she tried to protect him.
Many children with albinism are denied the most fundamental human rights. They live in constant fear of brutal attacks.
Because of the killings, many children with albinism now live in camps.
They are rejected by and cut-off from their families, they live separate from society in order to keep them safe.
Their skin and eyes are without any pigmentation, which means that they have no natural protection against the harsh African sun.
This results in severe burns which in time turn to brown spots which can lead to skin cancer.
Organizations are working hard to get sunscreen to people who have albinism.
Charities like “Under the Same Sun,” “Stichting Afrikaanse Albino’s” and “Stichting Inside the Same” in the Netherlands are fighting hard to end the stigma.