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NO sponsor has shown an interest in backing the National Schools Essay Competition but the Albinism Society of Southern Africa will continue the initiative .
Albinism is a lack of pigmentation, or the skin's inability to produce melanin or the normal colouring of the skin, hair and eyes. It is caused by defects in the hereditary material that determines skin colour.
The essay competition has been running for several years and is designed as a community awareness, information and education outreach project targeting the youth.
Due to limited resources, winners have been awarded dictionaries and trophies. We seek sponsors to help look after the career-advancement needs of the top three winners each year.
Media and publicity sponsor and nation-building partners Sowetan and the organisers, the Albinism Society (Assa), encourage pupils in grades 10, 11 and 12 to write essays that help dispel myths, rumours and misconceptions about the condition.
In 2006 a Ligege High School pupil, Tshilisanani Nedombeloni, was the winner. Lehlabile Dibeila of Lehlabile High School in Mamelodi in Gauteng won in 2007 and Sisanda Ngcana of Khanyisa School for the Visually Impaired in KwaDwesi, outside Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, won in 2008. Pupils can write on:
lAlbinism: being different in my community;
lAlbinism: experiences of a teenager with albinism;
lAlbinism: how I relate to people with albinism; or
lAlbinism: a disability or not?
Neatly written or typed entries of no more than 1000 words should be sent to: National Schools Essay Competition on Albinism, PO Box 9881, Johannesburg.
The closing date is August 31, 2009.