Al­bi­nos 'Have Unique Abil­i­ties'

Fiji Sun - - Nation - LOSIRENE LACANIVALU SUVA Edited by Epineri Vula losirene.lacanivalu@fi­jisun.

Fi­jians who suf­fer from al­binism have been urged to ac­cept their own unique abil­i­ties. The plea has come from 16-year-old Saint Joseph’s Sec­ondary School stu­dent Sabina Moce, her­self an al­bino, who be­lieves she is spe­cial and unique in her own her way.

This was her mes­sage yes­ter­day at In­ter­na­tional Al­binism Aware­ness Day at Ratu Sukuna Park, Suva. Sabina of Lodoni, Tailevu, is the el­dest of six sib­lings, three of whom suf­fer from the dis­abil­ity.

“Be­ing a young girl with al­binism is unique be­cause I am spe­cial and beau­ti­ful in my own way and I stand out de­spite be­ing in the midst of a huge crowd,” she said.

Sabina said be­ing born with the spe­cial dis­abil­ity did not mean they could not do well be­cause, de­spite be­ing dif­fer­ent from every­one else, she her­self re­ceived awards and ti­tles dur­ing her pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion. In 2013 Sabina was awarded the best Kula Film dancer award, in 2014 she was a pre­fect for the Fiji School for the Blind and was head girl of the school in 2015. She said the awards had noth­ing to do with her dis­abil­ity, but the re­sult for her own hard work and mak­ing good use of her God-given tal­ents.

“I do face chal­lenges, peo­ple stare at me while I walk around town, how do I re­act? I just ig­nore them,” Sabina said.

She said she car­ried on with her life de­spite her eye­sight be­ing her big­gest chal­lenge be­cause she could not see very far and needed sun­screen when out in the sun.

“My mes­sage is; I maybe dif­fer­ent, but I am also the same," Sabina said.

"I am still a stu­dent, I am still Fi­jian and I’m still beau­ti­ful. Please treat me as you would any­one else with re­spect and love.”

She called on her friends with al­binism to ac­knowl­edge their dis­abil­ity, take good care of them­selves be­cause they were a gift from God. At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, who was chief guest at the event, said it was im­por­tant for peo­ple to un­der­stand that no mat­ter what dis­abil­ity one had, they needed to be brought into main­stream Fi­jian so­ci­ety and be looked af­ter. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said to have spe­cial recog­ni­tion of those who had spe­cific needs, re­quire­ments and laws were en­acted un­der the lead­er­ship of the Fi­jian Prime Min­is­ter to fa­cil­i­tate that.

He said re­cently the Govern­ment brought for­ward the United Na­tions Con­ven­tion on the Rights of Per­sons with Dis­abil­ity and Fiji rat­i­fied the con­ven­tion. He said as a re­sult a new Act of Par­lia­ment which recog­nised the spe­cial rights of per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties would not be pos­si­ble if it had not been en­shrined in the Fi­jian 2013 Con­sti­tu­tion that had spe­cific rights for per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the idea was to cre­ate aware­ness on al­binism and to en­sure that Fi­jians are in­formed that such per­sons should not be dis­crim­i­nated against or ridiculed.

Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum with Grace Moce, 6, Sabina Moce, 16, and Sailasa Jr. Moce, 8, dur­ing In­ter­na­tional Al­binism Aware­ness Day at Ratu Sukuna Park on June 13, 2018.

Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

Ema Marie 26, with her four-year-old daugh­ter Mere­oni Faith of Nadi dur­ing In­ter­na­tional Al­binism Aware­ness Day at Ratu Sukuna Park in Suva on June 13, 2018.

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