I want to tell you about a wonderful event Shade just hosted in Jamukaya Hall.
Shade’s multipurpose building on our Shinyanga campus houses classrooms, staff offices, and a large meeting space called Jamukaya Hall. Jamukaya is a word in the local Sukuma language that means “a place for everyone.”
Jamukaya symbolizes so much of what Shade is about. We reach out with the love of God to welcome all people and invite them to come to Him. We also declare that people with albinism are included in the “everyone”, that they have a place at Shade, in the community and as citizens of their country.
A little over a week ago Shade held a seminar for the parents and children in our school and our neighbors. In America we think of seminars as academic or business presentations. Shade seminars are quite different. There was dancing and singing, joyful fellowship, an inspirational message from a local pastor, testimonies, updates on Shade school, and what we call a UA.
The initials UA stand for “Understanding Albinism.” Our Country Director, John Migila, who is a person with albinism, spoke about the cause of albinism and the challenges those with albinism face. Many people in the Shinyanga region don’t understand that albinism is a genetic condition, not the result of a curse. They don’t know that people with albinism are as capable as anyone else.
Here’s how John described the seminar: “There was a strong atmosphere where God was working with us when we were praying together and we were dancing and singing. You could see that joy from the hearts of people. It was a fantastic moment. People were really interested in the UA part. At the end, I finished up with the UA. People got new knowledge that day. They were happy that I was using an example of myself. Now, they really know that people with albinism are strong and can do things.”
Sharing the love of God, changing attitudes about people with albinism, affirming that all people are created in God’s image and valued by Him, no matter what they look like…it was a beautiful event!
Thank you for your support that makes this all possible. With the expansion of Shade School, we anticipate many more seminars like this one in Jamukaya Hall, sharing the message that there is a place for everyone.
Written by: Jack Grubbs
Chair, Shade Board of Directors