Member Organization: Anti Vitiligo Foundation Rwanda
Member since: September 2021
Anti Vitiligo Foundation Rwanda is a non-profit organization with the purpose of contributing toward the fight and eradication of a skin disease called vitiligo by helping patients receive necessary treatment and medication.
Thank you to Joseph Harerimana, Founder of AVF for sharing his stories, insights, and the work of the organization.
Get to know more about AVF below:
What do you consider to be your organization’s biggest accomplishment and success?
What I consider to be a great achievement, is that we managed to educate more than 50 people about vitiligo, discussed eliminating shame that can accompany this skin disease, as well as helped to remove widespread misinformation about witchcraft relating to vitiligo. We try to comfort and counsel patients, to feel that there is life beyond the disease, and to advocate for them. To spread our message, we went to different radio stations to take advantage of reaching a bigger audience.
What are the biggest challenges that vitiligo patients face?
The probability of losing or being denied a job, especially if it is very visible. This is a huge challenge for patients. The second one is being bullied. People treat you as if you are an alien. Sometimes people are not able to or do not think they are able to get married or be in a relationship with another person. Psychological, mental health challenges are also very difficult.
What is the best piece of advice you have for skin patient organization leaders?
The best advice would be to impact their society using their passion for the cause. You need to try your best, you need to give your time, and you need to find your resources and connect them to the people.
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