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International Albinism Awareness Day Essay Writing Competition: Different in Color, equal in Rights.




International Albinism Awareness Day – 13th June 2021

Essay Writing Competition:  Different in Color, equal in Rights.

We have long been called wazungu because we are light skinned and different from the ‘African dark’ color. You have probably noticed us in hats, avoiding the sun and preferring attire that covers our skin. The sun is an enemy to our day-to-day survival. Who are we?

The above is a description of persons with albinism, and this is the term persons with albinism prefer, as opposed to being called ‘Albino’. Albinism is a rare, non-contagious, genetically inherited condition occurring in both males and females worldwide. The condition results in a lack of pigmentation in the skin, hair, and eyes, causing vulnerability to sun exposure and bright light.

In some cultures, persons with albinism have been considered as taboo and are therefore either killed or hidden from the public, meaning they are not able to go to school or even seek medical attention.  They are therefore considered a vulnerable and disadvantaged group and fall within the category of persons with disabilities. This is why the Constitution of Kenya of 2010 recognized persons with albinism as among those requiring specific considerations in leadership, deliberate provisions in accessing health care and education.    

About the essay competition

There is a fundamental lack of understanding about albinism in Kenya and in its place are myths. These myths have added the stigma, discrimination, and attacks that persons with albinism continue to face.

As we commemorate the 2021 International Albinism Awareness Day, we aim to promote greater understanding of this condition and protect the rights of persons with albinism by allowing you, members of the public to read, research and write about persons with albinism guided by the title: Different in Color, Equal in Rights.

Who can Participate?

  • Children of ages up to 14 years
  • Young people aged 15-25 years.

*Note that the age for both groups applies as of 30th June 2021. Persons with albinism are strongly encouraged to participate.

Guiding notes

  • For participants up to 14 years: Achievements of people with albinism in Kenya or around the world
  • For Participants aged 15-25 years: Show that people with albinism can defy all odds.

Essay Length

  • For participants aged up to 14 years: 500 - 700 words.
  • For participants aged 15-25 years: 1000 - 1200 words.

You can select your own formatting including font style, size, line space, etc – as long as the formatting chosen is consistent throughout your essay.  The content should also be written with clear flow.

The essay title is not included in the word count limit. DO NOT write your name on the essay.


The Essay should be written in English.  Additionally, it must be original and unpublished. When using quotes, acknowledge the original author.

The work that you submit should be your own. If you receive assistance from others, please acknowledge this and explain the extent of assistance.

Essay Submission

Essays should be submitted to essays@knchr.org in either MS Word (DOC/DOCX) or PDF format. Only one entry per person is accepted.

In the email by which you will submit the essay, please tell us your full name (and ID card number if applicable), county of residence, mobile phone contacts and level of education. In a sentence or two, also share what motivated your participation in this essay competition. Please note that your personal details shall be kept confidential.

* Questions about the competition can be submitted to essays@knchr.org. Note that the copyright of the essay entered will be assigned to the organizer of this essay competition, the KNCHR.

Submission Deadline

Entries must be received by Wednesday 30th June 2021 (11.59pm)


The Commission will conduct a robust assessment to ascertain originality and knowledge of the writer.


The top three in each age group will receive attractive prizes including book vouchers, cash prizes and branded items.

Additionally, all winners will receive a letter of Commendation from the Commission. The best essay from a participant in university will earn them a three month (unpaid) attachment with KNCHR.

All prize winners will be announced by July 31, 2021, on KNCHR’s website www.knchr.org and social media pages (twitter @hakiKNCHR and Facebook KNCHR). We shall reach out to the winners directly via the mobile phone contacts provided when submitting the essay.


The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights is a constitutional commission established under Article 59 (1) and Chapter 15 of the Constitution of Kenya and subsequently operationalized through an Act of Parliament, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Act No. 14 of 2011, (Revised 2012). The Commission is the designated agency for monitoring the rights of persons with disabilities in Kenya in line with article 33(2) of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

Supported by Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa

Documents to download

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