International Day of Albinism, the stories of Ava, Xueli, Joy: "If color is not a limit"

Distinguishing features: beautiful. Ava Clarke she is albino. From an early age she conquered the fashion world for her beauty, as she has something that sets her apart from the rest of the girls: her family members are black, she is candidly white, as albino. About her Her characteristics unique to her and different about her not only were not an obstacle to her, but they ended up attracting the attention of the fashion world and making her an established model in the States and beyond.

Ava Clarke is an established albino model

Ava Clarke is an established albino model (photo taken from his Facebook profile)

The story of Xueli Abbing

Ava is not the only one: Xueli Abbing she was abandoned in an orphanage in China because albina, today, at 17, is a top model who has also posed for Vogue Italia. “Some children, like me, were abandoned, others were locked up or if they went to school their hair was dyed black,” she said. Xueli Abbing on the BBCspecifying that, at the time of his birth in China, the one-child policy was in effect.

“But in some African countries they are hunted down, their limbs can be cut off or they can be killed. Sorcerers use their bones to make medicines as people believe they can cure diseases, but obviously this is not true, these beliefs are myths. I am lucky to have only been abandoned ”, the words of him.

Xueli Abbing was abandoned in an orphanage in China because albina, today, at 17, is a top model who has also posed for Vogue Italia

Xueli Abbing was abandoned in an orphanage in China because albina, today, at 17, is a top model who has also posed for Vogue Italia

Xueli Abbing was abandoned in an orphanage in China because albina, today, at 17, is a top model who has also posed for Vogue Italia

When she was 3, says Dire Giovani (www.diregiovani.it), she was adopted by her current family, who took her with them to the Netherlands, where she still lives today. Thanks to an acquaintance with her mother, she approached the world of fashion at the age of 11.
“My mom was in contact with a stylist originally from Hong Kong. She has a son with a cleft lip and she decided she wanted to design very elegant clothes for him so that people wouldn’t just stare at his mouth, ”Xueli recalls. “She defined the campaign ‘perfect imperfections‘(perfect imperfections) and asked me if I wanted to attend her fashion show in Hong Kong. It was an extraordinary experience ”.

Since that time, Xueli’s life has changed.

After doing a photo shoot in London for Brock Elbank, she posted the shots on Instagram and her photos reached modeling agency Zebedee Talent, who wanted her with them to represent disability in fashion.
“One of the photos Brock took of me was published in the June 2019 edition of Vogue Italia with Lana del Rey on the cover. At the time, I didn’t know how big a magazine it was and it took me a while to understand why people were so excited about it. “
“In fashion, looking different is a blessing, not a curse, and it offers me a platform to raise awareness of albinism.” Xueli has only between eight and ten percent sight.

The International Day of Albinism

On December 18, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 69/170, proclaiming June 13 as International Albinism Day.

On December 18, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 69/170, proclaiming June 13 as International Albinism Day.

On December 18, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 69/170, proclaiming June 13 as International Albinism Day.

On December 18, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 69/170, proclaiming June 13 as International Albinism Day. Albinism is a hereditary congenital disorder that occurs with the absence or reduction of melanin in the skin, hair or eyes. The disease is prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular due to the unions between blood relatives. In Tanzania one in 1400 inhabitants is albino, while in Zimbabwe one in 1000. Discriminatory and violent acts against albinos occur precisely in those countries where the majority of the population is black.

Superstition

At the basis of such violence, there is the belief that albinos are endowed with supernatural powers or bring bad luck. In some African countries, such as Tanzania and Malawi, albino body parts are used for magical rituals because their organs are thought to bring good luck. In some African villages, some parts of the body of albinos are also sold for 500 euros and the skin is sold on the black market at very high prices, between 1500 and 7000 euros. Girls are often raped because it is believed that they can cure men with AIDS. During the elections in Tanzania in October 2015, masses occurred attacks on albinosof which sorcerers used the bodies (or parts of them) for magical rites to which many politicians also underwent.

Xueli Abbing and Ava Clarke, both models, are albinos

Xueli Abbing and Ava Clarke, both models, are albinos

Xueli Abbing and Ava Clarke, both models, are albinos

Already in 2013, the UN Human Rights Council had adopted a Resolution calling attention to the spread of attacks against albinos. Furthermore, on 10 April 2015, with Resolution A / HRC / RES / 28/6, adopted without a vote, the Council established for a three-year period the mandate of an Independent Expert on the right of albino people to enjoy Human Rights. . In June 2015, Ikponwosa Ero was elected to this position. In March 2016, in Geneva, Unicri together with Ikponwosa Ero organized a discussion group on the causes of attacks on albinos.

“In the last decade, hundreds of people with albinism have been victims of attacks with the aim of using parts of their body for magical rituals ”said the expert. During the event an excerpt from the film “Jolibeau’s travel” was also shown, which shows the relationship between albinism and witchcraft by telling the story of an albino boy who escaped from Cameroon to save himself. Recently, Amnesty International launched a campaign to raise awareness of the Malawi government about the brutal attacks against albinos in the country. The President of Malawi, in March 2015, had condemned the wave of attacks, urging the police to intervene so as not to leave those responsible unpunished.

The alarm raised by Amnesty International

However, until now, according to Amnesty International, the actions of the authorities have been very weak and ineffective, demonstrating that what must be fought in the first place is the superstition associated with such attacks. Several NGOs have organized events around the world on the occasion of International Albinism Day, and it is encouraging that many take place in African countries such as Togo, Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. In France, a documentary followed by a debate will be screened at the UNESCO Headquarters. In addition, several ophthalmology, dermatology and genetics specialists will hold a seminar on the subject. In Benin, the NGO Divine Connexion Worldwide organized a Conference with institutional bodies and social workers at the United Nations Building in Geneva, the Human Rights Council organized an event with several NGOs and albinism experts who will hold a conference and show videos on the topic. People with the condition were also invited to share their life experiences. In Italy, the social promotion association has been active since 2008 Albinitchaired by Elisa Tronconi and formed by a group of volunteers involved in the problems of albinism.

Joy Ehikioya, Nigerian, discriminated against because she is albino
From sexual abuse to graduation: the story of Joy EhikioyaNigerian, discriminated against because albino was told by Light! The young woman has just graduated in Comparative European and International Legal Studiesa particular address, with lessons completely in English, of the law course offered from the University of Trentowhich Joy entered thanks to reception project for asylum seekers of the Trentino Institute: an initiative that guarantees migrants room and board, as well as the possibility of attending a course of their choice.

From sexual abuse to graduation: the story of Joy Ehikioya, Nigerian, discriminated against because she is albino

From sexual abuse to graduation: the story of Joy Ehikioya, Nigerian, discriminated against because she is albino

From sexual abuse to graduation: the story of Joy Ehikioya, Nigerian, discriminated against because she is albino

Joy’s story is made of violence and discrimination. The girl indeed is albinoone physical characteristic that in his country of origin, Nigeria, it is not at all frowned upon: “My family was trying to minimize contact with the outside world because albinos, in Nigeria, are discriminated against and often persecuted“. In fact Joy, since her childhood, has had to endure bullying, threats and violence forcing her to change habits, routines and even cities several times.

In January 2016, the episode that has them completely turned life upside down: “It was 6.30, and I was getting ready to go out. The time had been chosen specifically to find as few people as possible on the my journey giving me the chance to go home before everyone left to go to work. I went for a run and tried not to stray too far to be able to go home whenever I felt in danger. As I walked two blocks from the house, two men have me immobilized and then forced into the trunk of a car. I was no longer able to resist and I passed out ”. Upon awakening her, Joy finds herself tied to a bed with two men around: “Albina, please, make your head bring us a lot of money. Make sure there is no suffering for us for the rest of our lives ”, the two intoned in a singing way. Once the rite is finished, her tormentors have it blocked and raped: “I hoped for a natural death. I managed to escape after two days by escaping from a broken window. I arrived in Libya in the trunk of a car and here one of the men who bought me repented and took me to the beach to get on a boat bound for Italy “. From that moment, with the entry into the reception program of the University of Trento, a new chapter of Joy’s life who, with extraordinary strength, was able to take back her life.

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