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Girl with albinism flees from school

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A 16-year-old girl with albinism, who was in Standard Eight at Pilimiti Girls Primary School in Zomba, has fled from her school after persistently being pursued by unknown people who were coming to her school asking her friends to hand her over to them.

The girl, who has since been withdrawn from school by her parents as a precautionary measure, has pleaded with authorities to secure her school and life so that she can go back to school as she prepares for her Standard Eight examinations.

Her teachers have since confirmed that the girl, Catherine Nelson, has temporarily been allowed to go home following indications that there are some people who were after her life as reported by her friends and communities around the school.

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Catherine, who we met at her home in Mangochi, explained that she is worried that her future could be in jeopardy now that she has withdrawn from school in fear of being killed by the said people.

“They have been asking my friends to take me out of the school campus so that they can abduct me. In some cases, they were offering them money but I am lucky that my friends loved me and they told me that I should not go outside the campus. My friends were also doing all my chores,” said a tearful Catherine.

Zomba Police Spokesperson, Patricia Sipiliano, confirmed that the law enforcers received a complaint from the school authorities that there were other people who are suspected to have wanted to abduct the girl. She said currently police are engaging with the communities to establish more details.

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But the girl’s mother Lucy Chilanga said she could not have afforded to be living in Mangochi while her daughter’s life was in danger in Zomba.

“When we received reports from her teachers, we rushed so that we could assess the situation and we were told by the school authorities and some members of the community that leaving Catherine at the school was risky because the said presumed assailants are seriously following her,” said Chilanga.

Meanwhile, Catherine’s parents are not sure if the girl can be allowed to go back to school, saying it is better to have her uneducated than not having her at all.

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