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Tumeliwa Mphepo

Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM)
Mandela Washington Fellowship

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, organized by the U.S. Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), aims to enhance the skills and support the professional development of young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa through academic coursework, leadership training and networking in a higher education institution in the United States.

Tumeliwa Mphepo is a woman human rights defender and a member of the Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM). Tumeliwa has served as a member of the National Executive Council of APAM and currently she is serving in the Secretariat of the Association as Monitoring & Evaluation Officer. APAM is an organization that promotes, protects and defends the rights of persons with albinism in Malawi; in addition to spreading awareness about the condition. As a person with albinism and an active member of the Association, Tumeliwa is working to end discrimination, abuse, abductions and killings of persons with albinism in Malawi. Tumeliwa is also a Scottish Human Rights Defender Fellow, a partnership between the Scottish Government and the University of Dundee supported by Amnesty International, Front Line Defenders, Beyond Borders and SCIAF.


Once considered a country where civil society could express itself freely, Malawi descended into a spiral of authoritarianism which culminated in the targeting of human rights defenders through arrests, prosecution, death threats and the violent dispersal of protests.