Notice of Changes at Under The Same Sun (March 2021)
Under The Same Sun is making changes to better address current needs and position its education and advocacy work for the future.
Given the uncertainty in our world - both financial and otherwise - UTSS has been carefully considering how best to safeguard the essential programs that Under The Same Sun provides. No matter what comes, we want to ensure continuity of care, education, protection and advocacy for children and adults with albinism - in Tanzania and around the world.
Our flagship program over many years has been the provision of private education and career preparation to some of the most vulnerable students with albinism in Tanzania, through our Learning and Career Advancement (LCA) department. UTSS remains committed to our students with albinism in Tanzania for the long-term.
Too that end, we are pleased to announce that as of March 1, 2021 we will be partnering with Villages of Hope Tanzania (VOH) to manage the UTSS Education and Career Advancement Program in Tanzania. This program will continue to be delivered, through the same staff that know and care for our students now, under the banner of Villages of Hope. Our Canadian team will continue to visit with the students, hold summer camps, share stories and updates, and raise the much-needed funds for this important work.
Nothing will change in terms of the support, care, and sponsorship students will receive, except that we believe our new partners at VOH will help us improve it even more over time. We continue to appreciate and count on our involved generous donors, to keep supporting these students, through UTSS, as they have always done.
At the same time, the work of advocacy is being re-focused, to address the areas of greatest need. As the attacks and killings have all but ended in Tanzania, we see disturbing increases of violence towards people with albinism in other African countries.
We rejoice for the real changes seen in Tanzania, as a result of the hard advocacy work done by UTSS and others. In 2008 to 2010, Tanzania was the global epicenter of attacks against persons with albinism resulting in mutilation and death for many. As of today, there has not been a reported killing of a person with albinism in Tanzania since February 17, 2015, and there has not been an attack resulting in physical mutilation since October 2, 2017.
Yet, we are seized with the needs mounting elsewhere in Africa where attacks continue and even increase. UTSS has developed and used a proven advocacy model in Tanzania which it simply must bring to bear in other countries, so that atrocities against people with albinism everywhere will end.
Therefore, UTSS will re-double its work in international and pan-African advocacy. This work will be managed directly by our Canadian office. To make adequate resources available, our Tanzania advocacy program and office will wrap up its work and close by the end of March 2021.
More than ever, at UTSS, we believe in the transformative power of education to combat discrimination and equip a new generation with the skills and knowledge to make the world a better place. Therefore, in the current climate, and for years to come, these changes will enable UTSS to focus on its two critical pillars: supporting education and career preparation for young people with albinism in Tanzania; and progressing international advocacy on behalf of people with albinism everywhere.
Though we are making some significant changes, one thing has not changed: The Dream. "I have a dream one day that people with albinism, in Tanzania and around the world, will take their rightful place in every level of society, and that the days of discrimination will be a faint memory."
Founder & CEO
Under The Same Sun HQ