Stichting Albinisme in Afrika and Altruist Sunscreen

A lifesaving partnership to protect people with albinism in Africa from the sun.

A short introduction into a partnership established to save lives and make a difference – driven by the people behind them.  Please read to discover our stories and how your purchase is protecting people in various countries in Africa living with albinism. It’s thanks to the incredible work of the volunteers and altruists at the African Albinism Society (SAA).

Altruist Sunscreen

Founded as a not-for-profit organization in 2015, Altruist Sunscreen from day one pledged to produce the most affordable sunscreen it could and to donate 10p from every single product sold to charities that help children with albinism.

A pledge at the heart of the Altruist mission: ‘To reduce the incidence of skin cancer through the increased use of quality sunscreen together with better education and awareness.”

Why support children in Africa with albinism?  This cause is rooted deep in the hearts of Altruist Founders, Dr Andrew Birnie and David…

They met and became friends while surfing in South Africa and bonded over their passion for Africa and their combined commitment to want to prevent and raise awareness of skin cancer.

With their combined expertise in skincare, sunscreen and with Dr Birnie’s profession as a Consultant Dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon, Altruist was born.  They had the knowledge, the formulation expertise and connections to the best formulation scientists in Europe, so they just needed to find a way to create world class sunscreen at the lowest price – so more people could afford to wear more, more often.

In the beginning our original broad spectrum, SPF50 and SPF30 creams were created as the first products on the market.  They included world-class filters such as Tinosorb AB and formulations that tested way above the SPF on the label and with ultra-high PPD/ AVA protection.  So, the formulas were as good as, if not better, than most premium priced sunscreens on the market.

The challenge was to keep the price as low as possible to help people afford to wear more SPF, which could save their lives.Dr Birnie and David achieved the low price point by lowering unnecessary marketing costs and reducing profit margins.

At Altruist, donations are prioritised over profits, as the aim is to protect the most vulnerable and un-protected.

Since launch in 2015, Altruist (together with its partners) has been able to donate over 580K GBP (700k EUR) in products to those that need it most, primarily children with albinism in various countries in Africa.

In September 2020, Altruist co-founder David travelled to Tanzania with SAA to deliver the sunscreen in person. He helped teach kids how to apply sunscreen and spent time listening to their stories.

Albinism is a life-threatening problem in Tanzania and many countries in Africa and it can be a sentence to a harsh life and early death.  Albinism, which is a genetic condition, is more prevalent in Africa. It results in a person looking white due to a lack of pigmentation in the hair, skin and eyes. People with albinism are visually impaired and highly vulnerable to sun exposure resulting in high rates of skin cancer.

So without the incredible work of Stichting Albinisme in Afrika, many children with albinism would not survive.  Please read their story, it’s a vitally important one…

Stichting Albinisme in Afrika (SAA, African Albinism Society

Stichting Albinisme in Afrika (SAA, African Albinism Society) is a Dutch non-profit organisation, which aims to protect people with albinism in Africa from the sun, giving them the opportunity to participate in society.

SAA is a pragmatic foundation with an eye for this marginalized minority in many African countries, that provides suncream with high spf for people with albinism. We also export sun protective materials, such as sunglasses and UV-protective clothing. With our group of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers, we work towards our common goal; sun protection for everyone! 

The work of SAA is completely based on donations. The suncream is usually donated to us, we arrange the transport ourselves with monetary donations, and we have contacts in Africa to ensure that the suncream gets to the right places. In some countries, we also facilitate local production of protective suncream. We are active in Uganda, Tanzania, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, Senegal, Lesotho, Togo, Ivory Coast and Gambia.

 We are very grateful to all partners and sponsors, because they are indispensable for our work. Our most important partner is Altruist Sunscreen. The joint aim to help people in need has brought us together, for which we are very grateful.

Altruist donates 10 pence for every sold product to us, and in that way has donated over 16.000 tubes of protective Altruist suncream to us since 2016.

With the help of Altruist we are able to offer continuity to the people with albinism that we support, providing them with high quality protective suncream. 

The SAA also shows great interest in the organisation of Altruist, and the way Dr. Andrew Birnie and David Westerbeek work. We have had the pleasure of listening to them in SAA meetings, and we prioritize close cooperation. Working together on the aim to improve quality of life for people with albinism in Africa is a pleasure, and we are very grateful for this partnership!  

For more information, please visit our website, or feel free to contact us!

We want to end this blog by thanking each and every one of you who has contributed or played a part in helping Altruist. Each and every single product bought contributes to a donation, and this donation makes a difference. Thank you and we hope you tag along on for the rest of our journey.