Helping albino people in Africa thanks to Faculty of Chemistry
The recipe introducing a sustainable and affordable sunscreen solution for the people with albinism in Ghana was created by Andrea Hároniková from the BUT Faculty of Chemistry as a part of a volunteer project called Creams for the albinos. Its goal was a product made easily and affordably from local raw materials by people without chemical education and without any special equipment or devices.
On the African continent people with albinism face not only discrimination associated with a number of prejudices, but thanks to the climate they also face a high risk of skin cancer. However, in this part of the world sunscreen lotions make a commodity primarily intended for tourists, which reflects in their price. "One cream costs thirty dollars, which is an unthinkable amount for the local people," says Andrea Hároniková, whose cream should cost around $ 2 per 200 ml. "The main ingredient will be a local high quality and affordable shea butter that is well absorbed and regenerates the skin. Other ingredients will include, for example, hydrating coconut or avocado oil and titanium dioxide." According to Andrea Haroniková the cream with a protective factor of fifty will meet the needs of the people with albinism and its production should start in June. Andrea Hároniková, together with Vojtěch Kundrát - another representative of the Faculty of Chemistry, will first produce a bigger amount of cream under simulated African conditions. Subsequently, Mr. Kundrát will establish a factory in Ghana and will train local workers.
It is Vojtěch Kundrát and Lukáš Houdek - the coordinator of the project, who masterminds the idea of sustainable assistance to Africa albinos. "When Lukáš Houdek, the coordinator of the government HateFree Culture campaign, learned about albinism on his way to Ghana, he decided to bring at least limited supply of this hard-to-reach product to the country," says Andrea Hároniková. With the help of Facebook, he managed to collect more than seventy liters of sunscreen. In this context he was contacted by Vojtěch Kundrát who offered the cooperation with the Institute of Chemistry of Foodstuffs and Biotechnologies as a long-term solution of this problem.
However, to start production on the African continent and for the initial purchase of raw materials, it was necessary to collect 130,000 CZK. Therefore, a group of volunteers decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign on Hithit. "Contributors can choose from a range of rewards, including sunscreen with the factors of 30 or 50, or a visit to the BUT Faculty of Chemistry or wild bee honey produced by an albino teacher," specifies Andrea Hároniková.
From the first days of its launch these interesting rewards and the campaign itself have met with a great response. So far, we have collected not only the desired amount, but more than 180,000 CZK as a support of Ghana albinos. Andrea Hároniková focuses on biotechnological production associated with yeast and is also interested in cosmetics and nutrition. In collaboration with JCMM she runs courses for the general public or high school students. Vojtěch Kundrát, the holder of several patents, is a doctoral student at the Faculty of Chemistry. At the same time he strives to help African countries where he creates special filters for drinking water preparation.