In South Africa, the Women in Action team took a bold stand against cancer by hosting a cancer awareness drive. The cancer awareness drive which was held in different provinces across the country saw 4988 people attending. It revolved around an informative meeting, where they engaged in an in-depth discussion about the importance of cancer awareness with a particular focus on breast cancer. The Women in Action team recognised the significance of sharing knowledge and giving support to the community, especially women in the battle against this disease.
During the meeting, the organisation went beyond just words. They provided body checkups and valuable counselling services to those in attendance, recognising the emotional and psychological challenges that often accompany a cancer diagnosis. This personal touch was an invaluable component of their initiative, as it offered much-needed emotional support and guidance to individuals who may be facing the uncertainties of a cancer diagnosis.
To further empower the attendees, Women in Action also distributed informative pamphlets that delved deep into the difficulties of breast cancer. These pamphlets served as valuable resources, equipping women with detailed information about the disease, its risk factors, early detection, and the importance of regular screenings. The organisation's commitment to arming women with knowledge was a pivotal step in raising awareness and promoting early intervention in the fight against breast cancer.
From the body checkups, there were three confirmed cancer cases with the most prevalent condition being high blood pressure, This cancer awareness drive in the different provinces across South Africa, emphasised the dedication of Women in Action in making a positive impact on the health and well-being of the community.
On the 20th of October 2023, the Women In Action Kenya, in collaboration with the Assistants and the YPG visited Ushirika School.
The school is situated in Laini Saba, deep in the heart of Kibera slum. It is under the leadership of Mr Boniface Kitavi David who after seeing the struggle that children in Kibera undergo to get proper education, started Ushirika School. The facility has a population of 745 students. Among them is a primary school, Junior and a girls' only senior day and boarding secondary.
The objective of the visit was to mainly bring awareness to the girls about breast cancer as October is the month of Breast cancer awareness month. Besides the awareness, the girls were addressed about general feminine hygiene and mental health.
Those who attended the lecture were 150 girls. During the section of mental health, one of the Assistants from the YPG gave her testimony about depression and how she overcame it. Many students related well with her story and as a result, we had an average of 50 girls who came for the one on one counseling.
The visit was very productive. Both the students and director were very appreciative of the visit as the school.
"Many children, girls in particular, go through many challenges. Especially those who come from the slum. Whenever we have people like Women in action and the Universal Church team bring to us their support to the students, we feel delighted and blessed. We thank you so much for taking your time to come empower our girls." - Mr Boniface David Kitavi.
"I have been going through so much recently in my family and in my personal life. I have been suicidal and I didn't know who to talk to. Thank you for coming to our school to bring hope to me. I appreciate." Charity - 16years old. (One of the students)
In Bulawayo, there were three volunteer doctors who conducted an awareness campaign, with two of them delivering informative talks. This initiative proved to be enlightening for the attendees, and the members expressed their profound gratitude for the effort. The doctors made themselves available even after the awareness sessions to address any doubts and provide individual consultations.
One of the doctors was a specialist in wound and breast cancer, and she effectively explained the information in a manner that resonated with the audience. It was a particularly remarkable moment when she emphasised that breast cancer could affect men as well.
In Harare, members of Caleb also actively participated in the awareness campaign, and nurses extended their support by demonstrating self-examination techniques to the women. Furthermore, some nurses volunteered to check the blood pressure of those in need. The entire event was truly a blessing.
Throughout the month of October, Women in Action in Tanzania actively engaged in endeavors to raise awareness about breast cancer within different communities, schools, and places of worship. In the first week of the month, they were graciously invited to participate in the Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, an event that drew numerous participants, including medical professionals, nurses, social workers, caregivers, and ardent supporters, all demonstrating their solidarity for this crucial cause.
On the following week, specifically on the 8th of October, a Breast Cancer Awareness Drive was organized at their headquarters situated in Dar es Salaam. The event featured the invaluable presence of registered doctors and nurses from the Ocean Road Cancer Institute, who offered their expertise to provide free breast screenings and conduct blood tests for sugar and blood pressure. Additionally, a blood drive was set up to encourage voluntary blood donations for cancer patients, who have a serious need for such donations during this period. The event successfully screened over 100 women, and an onsite female oncologist was available for complimentary consultations and further assessments. An ambulance was on standby in case of any emergencies.
On the 14th of October, the WiA team in Tanzania was invited to partake in a special event organized by the Palliative Care Centre at ORCI, which focused on delivering guidance to patients and their caregivers regarding coping with a breast cancer diagnosis, its symptoms, and the available treatment options.
During their Self-Help meeting on the 21st of October, WiA introduced their work in the country and showcased a video highlighting their activities. They also distributed informative brochures that provided detailed instructions on how to perform self-examinations and identify the early symptoms and signs of breast cancer.
To culminate the month of October, Dr. Ruta, a senior oncologist from ORCI (Ocean Road Cancer Institute), graced the occasion with his presence. Dr. Ruta addressed questions and dispelled doubts about breast cancer, offering a clear and comprehensible explanation about the critical significance of early detection and preventive measures. He also expounded on the efficacy of treatment when breast cancer is diagnosed in its early stages.
This month-long campaign proved to be remarkably productive and significantly contributed to raising awareness among women of all ages who were previously uninformed about the development, prevention, detection, and treatment of breast cancer.
The Women in Action in South Sudan had a cancer awareness drive, which left a lasting impact on the community. Central to this initiative was a cancer awareness conference that brought together women from diverse backgrounds to learn and engage in discussions about the pressing issue of cancer, particularly focusing on breast cancer. The conference served as a vital platform for disseminating crucial information, addressing concerns, and fostering a sense of unity among the attendees.
As part of their commitment to ensuring that women in the region were well-informed, the Women in Action distributed pamphlets that contained in-depth information about breast cancer. These pamphlets served as valuable resources, equipping women with the knowledge they need to understand the disease, its risk factors, early detection methods, and the importance of regular screenings. The Women in Action's cancer awareness drive was a holistic and compassionate approach to addressing a critical health issue, leaving a profound impact on the lives of many women in South Sudan.
The Women in Action in Liberia a cancer awareness conference. This conference served as a beacon of knowledge and support for the community, where participants were enlightened about the critical aspects of cancer, its prevention, and the significance of early detection. It was a remarkable initiative that not only raised awareness but also empowered individuals to take proactive measures in the battle against cancer.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September was commemorated at the Cancer Diseases Hospital in Lusaka. This event was orchestrated by Women in Action Zambia, with the generous assistance of Clover Zambia Limited, Hairronis Studio Salon, diplomats from the Brazilian Embassy in Zambia, Brazilian expatriates residing in Zambia, and also members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in Zambia.
Taking place on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, the event was graced by the presence of representatives from Clover Zambia Ltd and the Brazilian Embassy. These entities collaborated closely with Women in Action to witness this heartwarming occasion, during which various items were donated to both the children and the hospital. The primary objective of the event was to extend support to children grappling with cancer and their parents.
Pastor Cesar commenced the proceedings with a prayer to bless the children at the hospital, while Mrs. Joelma delivered a concise statement highlighting the importance of childhood cancer awareness. This took place in the presence of the senior medical superintendent, nurses, and other hospital staff members.
The WIA team visited Charlotte Maxeke hospital Oncology ward 495 to show appreciation to the staff by handing out beautiful hand made gloves.
Upon arrival, theywere welcomed with joy and the staff appreciated the effort made by the WIA team.
One nurse spoke about the challenges that they go through as they are working with cancer patients and that they are very happy that the team took time to come and show them appreciation because they do not always get it from people.
The trained WIA volunteers took the time to hand out various pamphlets to passerby and to sit down and attend to those who had further questions/concerns about the disease. The response was very good from the people approached on the street; most of them were interested to listen to the message of awareness that were being passed to them.
To raise awareness on breast cancer, the WIA volunteers gave out pink ribbons to pledge their support in the fight against cancer. Women were also pamphlets detailing how to fight against this disease.
Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honor of Nelson Mandela. Although it is celebrated on the 18th of July, the Woman in Action volunteers always make it their mission to help those in need and be a support system to those going through trying times all year around.
In support of breast cancer awareness month, the WIA volunteers meet annually to raise funds in Soweto through an expo where they sell snacks. all of this is aimed at helping cancer victims.
The WIA volunteers visited different schools countywide to raise awareness on breast cancer. They shared tips on how to detect breast cancer and fight against it. They gave flyers with more details and contact numbers in case the pupils needed further assistance.
The WIA volunteers visited the Childhood Cancer Foundation in Pretoria to show their support to this organisation and they donated a few items to help the children who are affected to fight against cancer and other life-threatening diseases.