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“I am a PEACEMAKER!”

Posted on May 08, 2017

 

 

Martha Mganga is a peacemaker. This is how she defines herself and how she is known in her community. For someone living with Albinism—a genetic condition that causes skin, hair, and eyes to have little or no color—it is rare to be known for something other than the color of your skin. In Tanzania and many other African countries, people living with Albinism face daily discrimination and often live in fear and isolation. 

The discrimination that Martha and others living with Albinism experience makes it difficult to live in community with her fellow Tanzanians. “The unkind treatment hardened our hearts, and hate and unforgiveness had become a part of us,” Martha explained. “I was hopeless, insecure, and my heart was hurting because of the way other human beings discriminate against us simply because of our skin color.”In 2015, Martha was introduced to ALARM and invited to an ALARM women’s conference in Arusha, Tanzania. At the conference, Martha’s story of fear and unforgiveness began to be rewritten. She recalls, “During the conference I was told forgiveness was the only medicine that could make me become a better person. I learned how to forgive and became a peacemaker.”

Martha has taken what she learned at the conference and trained more than 100 people living with Albinism using ALARM’s Peace and Reconciliation curriculum. Through ALARM’s micro-finance training, she has also started a tailoring project bringing albino women out of isolation and into community with other women. 

In a recent visit with ALARM staff, Martha shared, “Today I am a different person. I am now stronger and more confident. The hate and bitterness are becoming a thing of the past. ALARM has been our helper. It is my hope and prayer that people living with Albinism will become ambassadors of peace in Tanzania and that the narrative of albinos being a source of bad luck, sickness, or death will become a thing of the past.”

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