By Labson Emmanuel Kaunda

Many people wonder how I survive in this life because I have additional disabilities some of which are noticed and some not.

I am Labson Emmanuel Kaunda, an ABINO child from a family of seven, two boys – both albinos.  Sharon the first born is the only albino girl. She is our pillar in most of the family activities. My father and my mother are still alive but vulnerable. My mother’s body is weak and cannot do much manual work. In most cases she is home, that’s why earlier I said our first born is a pillar of our family activities. Sharon is very responsible and capable, the reason for this is very simple. Sharon was taken to St Mary’s Special School in Kawambwa at the earliest age, because when she was born, my mother left her in the hospital and went away. My sister was kept by a nurse by the name of Brendah Chanda who took care of her until she was four years and at that age she started school at Sr Mary’s, and learned to be responsible. When I was born (third born), I am told my mother had some complications, that resulted in me born as a premature baby. I stayed in hospital for many months. This time she didn’t run away, because she was talked to. When I was growing up, I had some delayed milestones in speaking and walking.

I am a slow learner with limited vision, speech problems and I cannot perform at the same rate with my classmates, hence, watering flowers is one of my favorite jobs and I want to have my own garden of vegetables. It is not in my plan to be under someone, instead I prefer to be independent and supervise myself.

You know what! I am rewriting my grade nine examination, for I am at junior secondary school while my former classmate is at college. This year she came for her second school experience, which means she will finish her tertiary level this year in December. She will then start waiting for deployment. Look at me, still here, but don’t worry I am happy because I am unique with additional disabilities. It is very normal for me.

Last year I wrote and I failed in two subjects, this year I am rewriting English, religious education, and Zambian language. I tell you with confidence that I will pass. I don’t mind when I will finish school, what I want is to be someone useful in life. I have people who can help me and understand my condition. This time I can read, understand and comprehend articles and analyse. This is a great achievement and I am proud of myself.

Sometimes, I am aggressive and my teachers and friends remind me to be patient. I know that I have some characteristics of Autism and my teacher always reminds me of the importance of routine. Look at me that today, I can do most of my house chores, I can cook, make a fire and water the garden. I like flowers especially red flowers. My relationship with my family is average in that, some fail to understand my slowness, but others accept me and we relate well.

My albino brother is fine and he completed his grade 12 last year and is now waiting to go to college next year. Today he is a shopkeeper, the little amount he earns helps the family. My sister Sharon as earlier said, is dependable. She completed her tertiary education in 2020 as a social worker and she is working under the government institution called social welfare and community services and she stays in the next district near our home. This year God willing she will have a baby in August or September. She is married to a teacher who is black. My mother has now come back to her senses, after seeing the positive results from Sharon and that she is supporting the all family. Superstitions are there especially that others are black, but Sharon is a good advocate and she encourages us to interact with others. Thank you to all our supporters in in Canada.

Inverness County Cares (ICC) is a local charitable organization, founded in 2012 and based in Inverness County, NS, Canada. ICC works in partnership with, a Canadian charity, based in Bedford, Nova Scotia. Chalice provides guidance and assistance to help us provide a better life for the children at the Kawambwa schools. The Kawambwa Project involves supporting two schools for albino and visually impaired students, in Northern Zambia. Inverness County Cares always welcomes new members. Individuals who wish to donate, can use the donate button on our website When using E-transfer, please include your mailing address for CRA tax receipts and a thank you message.   E-transfer address:  [email protected] or send a cheque to Inverness County Cares, 5414 Route 19, Judique, NS, Canada, B0E1P0. Taxation receipts provided for USA and Canada.