News Releases

REP. CONNOLLY INTRODUCES HOUSE RESOLUTION CONDEMNING PERSECUTION OF PEOPLE WITH ALBINISM IN EAST AFRICA


(Arlington, VA) March 1, 2010 – Asante Mariamu announced today that House Resolution 1088 was introduced by U.S. Representative Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA) recognizing the plight of people with albinism in East Africa and condemning their murder and mutilation. The bipartisan resolution has 35 co-sponsors representing 21 states. 


“House Resolution 1088 is an important achievement for us, and we are very grateful for the support we’ve received from Congressman Connolly and his staff,” said Susan DuBois, Asante Mariamu’s founder and executive director. “This will give our new organization a boost to increase support for our mission as we continue our efforts to increase education, advocacy and awareness for people with albinism in East Africa.”


Asante Mariamu is dedicated to ending the slaughter of people with albinism in East Africa. During the past two years, more than 50 people with albinism in the region have been hunted and killed for their body parts. Witch doctors there promote the belief that body parts of people with albinism can be made into potions to bring wealth or luck. The organization is named after Mariamu Staford, a Tanzanian woman with albinism who survived such an attack. 


Mariamu and members of the albinism community in Northern Virginia met with Congressman Connolly in December 2009 to brief him on the situation in East Africa. He has since become a vocal advocate for the cause. Last month Congressman Connolly made a speech on the floor of the House highlighting the atrocities faced by people with albinism in East Africa. 


“My hope is that this resolution will place pressure on members of Tanzania’s federal and local governments to end these crimes against humanity and to provide education to dispel the myth that the body parts of those with albinism have supernatural properties,” Congressman Connolly said. “We need to advocate for remedies to bring an end to this heinous and misguided behavior against defenseless women and children.”


Since the organization was launched in January 2010, Asante Mariamu has been actively developing support for people with albinism in East Africa. A grassroots effort is underway to establish critical relationships with organizations and individuals to build a solid foundation for Asante Mariamu’s mission. The organization is also working on educational outreach efforts and methods for  collecting and shipping donated hats, sunscreen, sunglasses and protective clothing to help people with albinism in East Africa prevent skin cancer. 


OUR MISSION

Asante Mariamu is dedicated to ending the slaughter of people with albinism in East Africa; to bringing about the swift prosecution and conviction of their killers; and to providing albinos with life-saving education and supplies for the prevention of skin cancer.  For more information, please go to www.asante-mariamu.org



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