Meleji

Relentless Minds (RM) is co-sponsoring a GoFund Me account to help 14 year old Meleji Lawasare receive medical assistance and school aid due to an extreme lack of support from his family and community.  We came across Meleji's story through our recent amazing guest - Benson Lepilali Ngoilenya from Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Lepilali highlighted the rejection that children and adults born with albinism face in the Maasai community in East Africa and met Meleji when he was only 7 years.  Albinism is considered a curse in Meleji's community, which led to severe neglect, rejection, and abandonment by Meleji's biological father, and the community around him. 

Despite being very sick with multiple health conditions from birth, Meleji was denied medical care and instead treated like a curse to his family. He was unwanted by his father and community.

Meleji has never received what most would consider basic rights as a child, including the right to go to school, receive medical care or receive adequate clothing or food. Meleji was forced to collect rags to use as clothes and was constantly told by his own father that he was unwanted and that it would be best if he disapeared. His mother cared for him and enrolled him in school (having neither a proper school uniform nor shoes), however,  it was difficult for her to support him considering that women in her community are not respected nor heard.  In school, Meleji faced segregation from his fellow students, who bullied him and even attempted to peel his light skin which caused him pain. As an albino, with no sun protection, he suffers from sun exposure and developed problematic vision and severe cracking of his skin. 

in 2014 Lepilali (A future guest on RM) befriended the then 8 year-old Meleji and took him under his wing to provide him some basic comforts that albino children in East Africa are not afforded including; a school uniform, sunglasses and a hat. Lepilali was able to continue to help Meleji for two consecutive years but unfortunately, now being a medical university student, he is unable to maintain the support due to his own financial challenges and Meleji is currently in need of even more help for his health needs. 

Meleji was forced to drop out of school, due to medical difficulties resulting from his impaired vision/blindness and skin damage that go with albinism and severe neglect and abuse by his family. Doctors diagnosed Meleji with: 

- Severe  pterygium (a treatable occlusion blocking all sight in his right eye & some in his left eye).
- Severe strabismus (more commonly known as cross-eyed).
- Severe kyphosis (curvature of the spine, believed to be a result of domestic violence).

Lepilali, a current medical student, is trying to once again rally support for Meleji by raising funds to:

- Treat his impaired vision/blindness
- Provide skin treatment and daily skin care and protection (hats, sunglasses, sunscreen)
- After treatment, to start school in a special boarding school for children with similar disabilities. 

Every donation will go directly to his treatment and sponsor his studies. Meleji dreams of becoming a lawyer so he can stand up for children with disabilities.

“Remember, disability is not inability.”


Please Help Meleji! 


Thank you, 

Laurie Jimenez and the RM Team

Donations ()

  • Sherri Wasserman 
    • $20 
    • 2 mos
  • Oliver Quizhpi  
    • $10 
    • 2 mos
  • Dictator Fitness 
    • $25 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 2 mos
See all

Organizer

Laurie Jimenez 
Organizer
Falls Church, VA
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