It all started in 2002 when two medical students (Nienke Sonneveld and Kirsten de Boer) came into contact with Joyce Mussa, a nurse in the hospital where they were working in the small town of Mangochi (Malawi).
Joyce Mussa is a person with albinism and the students gave her a bottle of sun lotion. It opened up a new world for her: she hardly had any more sun burn, her wounds healed up and she looked more like thirty years old instead of fifty! Back in the Netherlands they sent her another bottle with a higher protective factor.
This is a fragment from the letter that Joyce wrote at that time:
‘Many thanks for the sun lotion that you sent. It is the best lotion that I have ever had! My face and arms are now as smooth as yours and I can be in the sun for hours without getting burnt. Everyone asks me: what sort of cream are you using? Now I can tolerate the sun in Malawi without any problem!’
What happened after that
Two years later Nienke Sonneveld left for Malawi. Of course she took sun lotion for Joyce with her, but she also wanted to help more people with albinism. So she took 25 more bottles too which she and Joyce distributed. Joyce and the other people with albinism were enormously enthusiastic! Together with Joyce she set up a programme in order to be able to continue helping people with albinism in Malawi.
It is unbelievable that through something that is (for us) so ordinary as sun lotion a persons quality of life can be so enormously improved! After she returned to the Netherlands the project received publicity in, among others, the Dutch newspapers Volkskrant and Telegraaf. Thanks to this publicity the family Kuijt of Kuijt-Beheer B.V. sponsored the creation of a Foundation.
On 17 August 2004 the “African Albinism Foundation” came into being!
The founding board of the Foundation, shortly after signing the statutes with the Notary with the cheque and a statuette from the Kuijt families