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Who we are
Under The Same Sun (UTSS) Fund exists to promote, via advocacy and education, the wellbeing of persons often marginalized and misunderstood. Specifically, we focus on those who are disadvantaged by disability and/or poverty. At UTSS, we are driven by the belief that all persons have intrinsic value as each is created in God’s Image. Accordingly, we also believe that all persons are worthy of love, respect and, above all, dignity. The UTSS Fund will support causes globally that meet these objectives and are approved by the Board of Directors. Currently, all UTSS efforts are focused on the crisis of persons with albinism in Tanzania.
Our amazing Tanzanian team makes up 2 well-staffed departments to help achieve its goals. The departments are:
- Education Scholarship Fund (ESF) is the UTSS flagship, offering education grants to keen and dedicated students with albinism demonstrating a need for financial or other schooling assistance. Beneficiaries are grantees for primary, secondary and all levels of higher learning up to PhD levels. Due to the multiple attacks on PWA in Tanzania, hundreds of children were herded into 9 Government boarding schools throughout the country for “safe keeping”. The extreme overcrowding and poor living conditions in these schools compelled UTSS to relocate hundreds of these “displaced children” into higher quality private boarding schools. The ESF program also covers the costs of the medical services for sick grantees and ensures that they get protective gear including sunscreen lotion and low vision devices. These students will be future models within their own society of what PWA can be when given equal opportunity. This is our greatest “weapon” against discrimination and our most powerful source of educating and advocating a culture towards change.
- Advocacy and Public Awareness (APA) deals with public education on albinism, disseminating information on health and offering truths about albinism to diffuse existing myths that often lead to discrimination and stigma used by witchdoctors and their clients to justify the macabre killings of PWA. APA uses media to educate and advocate both nationally and internationally. It informs and educates the public on human rights violations by investigating, collecting and publishing data about the atrocities against PWA. There is also a strong emphasis on the domestic understanding of albinism with simple, de-mythologizing messages about human dignity and respect. We also focus on simple genetic / medical explanations along with easy ways to live with and care for the condition.
Friends of UTSS
Dr. Rebecca Kammer
UTSS cannot put into words our gratitude for the gift that Dr. Kammer (Becky) has given to people with albinism in Tanzania. She has tirelessly offered Low Vision Clinics, met with every student in our Education Scholarship Fund program and provided glasses and other low vision devices. This will profoundly change their educational experience, their lives and ultimately the discriminatory attitudes against albinism in Tanzanian culture.
Albinism Fellowship of Australia
The Albinism Fellowship of Australia (AFA) is a national, non-profit organization established in 2005. The fellowship is run by volunteers who all have been personally touched by albinism in some way.The AFA’s key purpose is to provide support, education and fellowship to those with albinism, parents of children with albinism as well as their families and friends. While the albinism community in Australia is only small, the AFA provides a united voice to encourage productive developments and support within business, government and media.
The Canadian High Commission in Tanzania
The Canadian High Commission in Dar es Salaam generously donated $20,000 to help launch the UTSS Radio Campaign Project.
Discover Albinism Uganda
Discover Albinism Uganda is a U.S. based nonprofit working with the Uganda Albino's Association to end descrimination agains persons with albinism.
Express Lens Lab
UTSS is eternally grateful to Brian Goldstone and his company, Express Lens Lab, for the generous supply of optical lenses to meet the low vision needs of persons with albinism in Tanzania. This will profoundly change the educational experience of the students with albinism in our Education Scholarship Fund program. As education changes their lives, the discriminatory attitudes of their fellow countrymen will be challenged, as will the role of persons with albinism in Tanzanian culture.