By Beauty Ngonga

 Today my mind is full of joy!

No one could believe that one-day I will come out in the open and associate with society like a normal person. I have always wondered what would have happened to me if not for St Mary’s Special School. Listen to me and I will explain!

I am Beauty Ngonga, 14 years old and a Grade 5 pupil at St Mary’s Special School in Kawambwa. I am from a family of six, two girls and four boys. When I was born, both my parents were extremely disappointed and my mother vowed not to take me out of the house because of the shame she felt, since I was albino.

According to Beauty’s sister, Deosphister, “Beauty stayed in the house for almost two years”.  The only time Beauty was allowed out of the house was after dark. This forced isolation and deprivation of stimulus created delays in Beauty’s mental, social and physical development.

As years passed my mother had a baby boy, another albino child by the name of Ronald. He was treated well, because my mother was afraid of the community who had seen how badly I was treated. Their disapproval taught her a lesson. However, my father decided to marry another woman and moved to his new wife’s house, which was very near to our family house. From that time up to today, my father did not support or care for us.

My eldest sister Deosphister has taken on the responsibility of taking care of our family, my biological mother, myself and younger brother Ronald who is also Albino.

My isolation was a routine and I was used to it. But when I was nine, I started asking myself why? Why can’t I play with the village children? Why can’t I explore our village and meet and interact with our neighbors? I asked my elder sister who failed to give me an answer. But one day, my question was answered in a miraculous way.

At church where I congregate with Seventh Day Adventists, they had an annual gathering, which means Christians from many places gather at one point and spend days of worship at the same place. It was a lucky gathering for me.

Mr. John Mpundu who is a general worker at St Mary’s Special School was among those people who came for the annual gathering. I am sure some unknown person pointed out my case to Mr. John.

A well is a deep dug hole where water is found, and people fetch water from this well for domestic works and bathing. This well was near my home.

Mr. John visited the well near my home with a bucket in his hand. He fetched water and put a bucket under a fruit tree and knocked at the door to my house. My mother welcomed him and straight out he said, “I have come for your child who is supposed to go to school”. Everyone was very surprised. My mother asked, “Who?” Mr. John replied, “Your girl child”.

 My sister Deosphister told my mother, “This man means Beauty! He is from Kawambwa, he works at the special school, where even albino children are taught there.” My mother was very hesitant but Mr. John ended up making an appointment to come again. After a day, Mr. John came with the pastor, they explained to my mother about disability and albinism and the importance of education and the effects of lack of exposure to other people and situations. I was called for and the pastor emphasized God’s love and I was told that, I would go with Mr. John to Kawambwa and start school. My parents were not prepared with the articles I needed for school, but the church members contributed toiletries, shoes and assorted second hand clothing and items. I was afraid but also very excited.

It was a real surprise to find other albino children at school, who welcomed me with joy. The caregivers are wonderful and kind. I started school with a lot of difficulties. I was a student in everything, eating habits, toileting, walking, sitting on a desk, mobility in general and in addition a bit short tempered and anxious.

My social life and interaction with people, started at St Mary’s Special School. The caregivers at St Mary’s have performed wonders on my mobility and social skills. They have helped me and still are helping me to be more sociable. When my first holiday came and I was able to go back home, everyone in the village came to see me. They were surprised to see how I was navigating about my house and in the village paths, handling social issues and even doing some household chores.

My parents had nothing to say. My elder sister then took on the responsibility of taking me to school because for her she knew that albinism is from both parents. From my mother’s side a great grandmother and from my father’s side an uncle whom Deosphister saw when she was young and but he has passed on. We are also so happy Ronald my brother is also at St Mary’s Special School in Kawambwa in Grade one. I am inviting everyone to be an advocate for persons or children living with Albinism.

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.