September 2, 2016

About Outer Shell Africa

 

At Outer Shell Africa, we fully understand how difficult and debilitating it can be to live with a chronic skin condition and or visible difference.

Skin diseases and visible differences in Africa, have a serious impact on people’s quality of life, causing lost productivity at work and school, stigma and discrimination due to disfigurement. Skin changes may also indicate the presence of more diseases that need urgent attention.

Our Goal

To educate, enlighten and improve (emotionally and socially) lives of Sub-Saharan Africans living with skin conditions and Visible differences through enterprising entertainment education and digital storytelling..

In Africa, prejudice and traditional beliefs compound the psycho-social challenges faced by individuals living with skin conditions and visible differences. It is of vital importance in Africa to influence positively the prejudice and traditional beliefs surrounding most skin conditions and appearance related concerns.

Supporting and improving the lives of children with chronic skin diseases and visible differences is on top priority for us.

OSHA is driven by the recognition that Human Rights (Freedom from discrimination, Right to Health, Right to work, Right to life) are fundamental to general health, including skin conditions/diseases and Visible differences. Sadly Skin diseases and Appearance related concerns are often labeled ‘not life threatening’ and ‘just cosmetic’ (by most members of the public and sadly many in the health sector) yet these health conditions are not relegated in view of Health by World Health Organization (WHO) who defines health in its 1948 constitution as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Our Objective

  • Make a big positive difference and improve the Quality of life of Sub-Saharan Africans living with Skin conditions and Visible differences to live the life they want.
  • Educate and enlighten Sub-Saharan Africans about skin diseases/conditions and visible differences for prevention, management and coping.
  • Improve specially lives of children with chronic skin diseases and appearance challenges.
  • Promote Skin colour and Appearance diversity.
  • Right to Health for all living with skin conditions and visible differences including when the personal responsibility to health is compromised such as Skin bleaching/whitening.
  • Influence positively the attitude of the health community particularly in Teaching Hospitals towards skin diseases and visible differences to inspire and improve patient’s faith in Dermatologists once again.
  • Behavioral change and positive attitude of the public towards individuals with skin conditions and visible differences .

Outer Shell Africa was born out of Ogo Maduewesi’s years of experience living with Vitiligo and working on the Vitiligo cause where huge social needs of people living with Skin conditions and visible differences unfolds by day, enquiries and plea for social support continued to come from beyond Nigeria, offline and online. She yearned to help, she tried about thrice to bring together others with different skin conditions to educate the public and offer support, but this didn’t happen. Ogo woke up someday and decided to take the bull by the horn as she has grown so passionate about the cause. Ogo Maduewesi, an Ashoka fellow/Making More Health fellow was diagnosed of Vitiligo in 2005, in her quest for encouragement and how to manage her Vitiligo, she accidentally  founded Vitiligo Support and Awareness Foundation (VITSAF) in 2008, the first Vitiligo patient-driven organization in Africa which she been running with a shoe string budget. 

Ogo Maduewesi