Four Tanzanian children with albinism arrived in the United States on Saturday for medical treatment.
The children lost their limbs in brutal attacks by human poachers for their albinism.
Body parts of albinos are highly sought in some African countries, where some mistakenly believe they bring wealth and good luck.
In the East African country, a child born with albinism starts life with a price tag on their head.
“You can see that all of them are injured, they’re still traumatized. They are still thinking that their life isn’t secured. So they can’t walk alone in the town, they can’t. Maybe they go with a person like me or with their teachers or their matrons but not even another stranger. They don’t trust anyone,” said Ester Rwela a Social Worker with Under the Same Sun.
The children were making a return trip, having outgrown prosthetics they got through the aid of Global Medical Relief Fund (GMRF) that hosts children from around the world who have been injured in conflict or disaster.
Elissa Montanti founder of GMRF said, “We’ve helped children over the last almost twenty years, children that have stepped on landmines, kicked a can and it exploded, a sniper, a tsunami, typhoons, illness, but this is so deliberate and you just can’t grasp it, about their injuries. It just is mind-boggling.”
Albinos represent one in every approximately 1,400 births in Tanzania – the largest proportion in all of Africa.
Furthermore, albino body parts can sell for thousands of dollars on the black market.
According to United Nations officials at least 75 albinos were killed in the east African nation between 2000 and 2015.