Leading financial services institution, Stanbic Bank has donated an assortment of sun protection products worth ZW$38,5 million to the Albino Charity Organization of Zimbabwe (ALCOZ).
The Standard Bank Group subsidiary donated 1000 units of sunscreen lotion; 1000 units of antibacterial soap; 1000 units of antiseptic liquid; 1000 units of lip balm and 1000 sunhats.
Stanbic Bank Manager Events and Sponsorship, Lucy Dlodlo said the donation was one of the leading financial services institution’s most important calendar events owing to how it benefits people living with albinism.
Dlodlo said the predicament of people living with albinism is often taken for granted yet they have serious needs given the nature of their skin condition.
“Stanbic Bank has taken it upon itself to meet the needs of people living with albinism. It is not a coincidence that our partnership is now in its 8th year, we are very intentional about putting smiles on the faces of these young girls and boys whose skin is sensitive to the weather elements, particularly the sun,” said Dlodlo.
She said having started in 2015, the partnership with ALCOZ is even more critical now given the prevailing changing climate conditions.
Dlodlo said Stanbic Bank fully understands that the cost of purchasing the skin protection products is prohibitive hence the institution is happy to offer a helping hand to ALCOZ.
“The donation is part of Stanbic Bank’s well thought out strategy of supporting the needs of the members of the communities in which we operate,” said Dlodlo.
Stanbic Bank has comprehensive Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives which focus on Health and Sanitation, Education and the Environment.
Under health, the Standard Bank Group subsidiary has Usizo – Ruyamuro which was established in 2019 to compliment the Government of Zimbabwe’s efforts to ensure health services are accessed by all.
ALCOZ Projects Manager, George Mafararikwa said the gesture by Stanbic Bank leaves an indelible mark in the lives of the Albino Society adding that the financial services institution should be commended for leading the way in the fight against stigma, discrimination and misconceptions surrounding albinism.
“Stanbic Bank has set a pace which we as ALCOZ wish the other corporate partners could imitate. The albinism population is above 40 000 hence the need for more partners coming onboard to support this worthy cause. Stanbic Bank is doing their best, more so on a yearly basis. We are grateful for their passion to assist the needy in our society,” said Mafararikwa.
He said the donation was fitting as it comes a few weeks before the whole world commemorates International Albinism Awareness Day (IAAD) on 13 June 2023.
“With this gesture, we are going to carry out the IAAD commemorations in jubilation,” he said.
Albinism is a rare, non-contagious, genetically inherited condition which occurs worldwide regardless of ethnicity or gender. It commonly results in the lack of melanin in the hair, skin, and eyes, causing vulnerability to sun exposure.
People with albinism need protection from the harmful effects of the sun owing to the lack of melanin in their skin which serves as a shield from the sun. They rely on sunscreens lotions, special oils and lip balm for protection from the sun.