Comox Valley humanitarian assists African children with albinism

Neil Moreau in a selfie with some of the children in Kenya. (Facebook)Neil Moreau in a selfie with some of the children in Kenya. (Facebook)
Kenya Albino Child Support is bettering the lives of children with albinism.Kenya Albino Child Support is bettering the lives of children with albinism.
Children with albinism are in danger of being hunted for body parts.Children with albinism are in danger of being hunted for body parts.
Neil Moreau’s sponsor child, Caleb.Neil Moreau’s sponsor child, Caleb.
The non-profit KACSU has built a compound to protect the children.The non-profit KACSU has built a compound to protect the children.

Comox Valley humanitarian Neil Moreau has been living off and on in Kenya for several years, doing what he can to better the lives of children afflicted with albinism — a congenital disorder characterized by the absence of pigment in the skin, eyes and hair.

It can also be a death sentence.

Besides being vulnerable to skin cancer and poor vision, these children are in danger of being hunted for body parts. Moreau said some of the 8,000-plus witch doctors in African countries have fabricated the idea that using their body parts in potions will reap riches and fortune. A leg severed by a machete can be sold for thousands of dollars. Some individuals will exhume graves of people with albinism for their bones.

When he first read about these horrors, Moreau and his late wife Sylvia were drawn to do what they could to help. They started by sponsoring a child named Caleb through the charity, Kenya Albino Child Support (KACSU), and later ventured to Kenya to assist at an orphanage.

“We just found something needed to be done to help these children on the other side of the world,” Moreau said by email from the city of Eldoret, Kenya. “These children are often killed at birth. Those that survive don’t normally live long because of cancer, blindness and poverty.”

Moreau is a board member of KACSU, which has built a secured facility, and provides education and basic necessities to children with albinism. It has also acquired a farm.

When Moreau and Sylvia arrived in Kenya in January 2019, they narrowly missed being killed in a terrorist attack in Nairobi.

“I’m alive because we could not find a parking spot, and drove away as 27 people were murdered and 70 injured,” he said. “My wife died the next year of cancer and I decided to continue the work we started.”

Moreau drew the blueprints and helped construct a new orphanage, as well as a library, bathrooms, a dairy cow barn and chicken coops, all within a compound to protect the children.

Before venturing to Africa, the retired Moreau had worked as a Realtor in Comox, served on hospital advisory boards and volunteered with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets at Port Augusta. He has the highest level of paramedic training, and has volunteered his entire adult life.

“Children with albinism are like no other children,” Moreau said in a Facebook post. “They face a lot of discrimination and social stigma. They are quiet, shy, introverted and are hard to get a smile out of. They suffer from PTSD from both physical and mental abuse…They are the most deserving of help of any group I have ever worked with, and I am proud that they allow me to aid them in their struggles.”

For more information about Kenya Albino Child Support, visit

Moreau set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for a new safe house:

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The platanthera dilatata is the fragrant white bog orchid whose perfume on a hot August day is one of the unforgettable delights of a summer hike in Strathcona Park. Photo supplied
Strathcona Wilderness Institute AGM upcoming

The Strathcona Wilderness Institute (SWI) will hold its 2021 annual general meeting… Continue reading

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

Cumberland council is backing the business association again. File photo
Cumberland backs homeless veteran count

Briefs: Council continues support for business association

Courtenay Nissan’s Matthew Bourassa, Geoff Piper and Sean LaFleur join YANA’s Ashley Smith, Kelly Rusk and Lisa Wilcox for the 4x4x48 event to raise funds. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Courtenay Nissan eats and runs for YANA

Dealership realized non-profit groups need new ways to raise funds during COVID

Rev. Sulin Milne at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Comox is part of those helping distribute food to those in need within the town. Photo by Jim Peacock
Comox church serving the community with food through COVID-19

“We knew there were so many people who were facing economic challenges …”

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Most Read