Association of Persons with Albinims in Malawi (APAM) will host first ever Miss and Mr. Albinism Malawi pageant and talent show on September 7, 2019, in Lilongwe, Malawi.

APAM President Overstone Kondowe confirmed of the development in a statement made available to faceofmalawi reporter.

According to Kondowe, the contest will bring participants from every part of the country and will crown winners among the young persons with albinism.

He said the contest has been organized by APAM in collaboration with local and international partners and its main aim is to demystify the condition of Persons with Albinism (PWA) and affirm their inherent dignity while challenging myths, misconceptions and negative beliefs.

“The contest is not just a pageant, but a way to raise awareness and inclusion for people who remain the target of deadly stigma in Malawi and beyond and face discrimination. Albinism is still profoundly misunderstood in our communities where it is associated with myths, stigma, superstition and strong cultural beliefs which lead to marginalization and social exclusion of Persons with Albinism (PWA). The worst expression is evident in some communities where PWAs are mutilated or even killed for body parts which are then used for witchcraft rituals and as luck charms. These attacks bring severe trauma to victims, their families and other PWAs alike.

“Through the motto, “we are just like you” the Miss and Ms Albinism pageant intends to add its voice to ensure that rights of PWAs are promoted, protected, fulfilled and respected. PWA will through participating in this event, showcase their talents and gain personal recognition and development, self-confidence, inter-personal and communication skills, stress management skills, personal grooming skills and exposure and above all, advocacy skills. [However, the pageant as a standalone initiative is inadequate to meet these needs of PWAs hence the need to expand the scope of activities to include, human rights training and livelihoods in building resilience],” reads in part the statement.

Meanwhile Kondowe has appealed for sponsorship from companies and well-wishers.

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