FINANCIAL services institution, Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe, has donated an assortment of sun protection products worth ZW$38,5 million to the Albino Charity Organisation of Zimbabwe (ALCOZ).
The Standard Bank Group subsidiary donated 1 000 units of sunscreen lotion, 1 000 units of antibacterial soap, 1 000 units of antiseptic liquid, 1 000 units of lip balm, and 1 000 sunhats.
Speaking during the handover of the donation at the weekend in Harare, Stanbic Bank manager for 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.
She 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 eighth 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.
The Stanbic official said having started in 2015, the partnership with ALCOZ is even more critical now given the prevailing changing climate conditions.
She noted that the bank fully appreciates 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 complement the Government of Zimbabwe’s efforts to ensure health services are accessed by all.
ALCOZ projects manager, Mr 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,” he said.
“Stanbic Bank is doing its best, more so on a yearly basis. We are grateful for their passion to assist the needy in our society.”
Mr Mafararikwa 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 sunowing to the lack of melanin in their skin, which serves as a shield from the sun. They rely on sunscreen lotions, special oils, and lip balm for protection from the sun.