Every year, World Vitiligo Day (WVD) is officially hosted by a different country. In 2022, Mexico, under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Med. Jorge Ocampo Candiani, served as the campaign headquarters for all World Vitiligo Day activities. This year, the global WVD headquarters shifted to Almaty, Kazakhstan, with Dr. Aliya Kassymkhanova serving as the honorary president.
In India, home to a significant percentage of the world’s vitiligo population, the power of social media was harnessed by individuals like Prarthana Jagan and Manisha Malik, who have vitiligo themselves. These influencers were seen leveraging their online presence to raise awareness and advocate for inclusivity. Anmol Arora, a prominent content creator, organized a special event on World Vitiligo Day 2023 to bring people together and celebrate diversity. The event aimed to spread the message that vitiligo is just as normal as any other skin color. Attendees enjoyed a captivating showcase of poetry, heartfelt stories, engaging conversations, and delightful surprises. The event was open to all, with free entry.
On June 23rd, Atlanta, Georgia, hosted a awareness event for the United States, led by VITFriends in Boston, MA, the Global Vitiligo Foundation in Detroit, MI, and other vitiligo support groups.
Lee Thomas, the esteemed entertainment reporter at Fox 2 Detroit, too shared a poignant reflection in a special feature ahead of World Vitiligo Day (June 24th). In this feature, Thomas narrated the compelling short film “Shed Some Light” by Filmsupply Films. The film, inspired by real-life stories, delves into the intimate exploration of vitiligo, a skin condition that is often misunderstood, leading to prejudice and the exploitation of those affected. Building upon Thomas’ powerful TED Talk where he shared his personal experience with the condition, the film beautifully portrays the courageous journey towards self-acceptance and embracing one’s inner light.
The Mexican Vitiligo Foundation also planned a series of events on June 25th in four cities across Mexico, namely Mexico City, Chihuahua, Monterrey, and Guadalajara. Each event featured informative sessions specifically designed for patients, providing them with valuable information about vitiligo and its management. Additionally, there was a special presentation of the photograph exposition titled “Vitiligo: a skin of colors.”
In Brazil, the Ministry of Health (Ministério da Saúde) drove an important vitiligo awareness campaign with celebrated influencers from Brazil’s vibrant vitiligo community like Carine Guimarães, Vitor Maccla, Roger Monte, Maika Celi, and Marcia Ishimoto. The campaign focused on “the urgency to understand this condition as another way of being and existing, seeking to empower vitiligo as one of the symbols of diversity and beauty.”
From June 23rd to 26th, the Vitiligo International Patient Organizations Committee organized an event for the European community in Brussels, Belgium. The Vitiligo Society in the UK also announced the World Vitiligo Day 2023 Celebration on June 25th at 6:30 pm. This virtual event, following last year’s success, featured a fantastic lineup of inspirational and informative guest speakers.
Phelix, a vitiligo model based in Kenya, made waves as the founder of the Royal Patches Group – an organization dedicated to educating and advocating for people living with vitiligo. Recognizing the need for support and awareness, Phelix established the Royal Patches Foundation in Nairobi, Kenya. The foundation which serves as a crucial support group, organized Mr. and Miss Vitiligo show as part of an awareness event on June 25th.