The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA)’s Shavathon is in its 22nd year and what better way to celebrate than for the fund-raising and awareness campaign to focus on kindness.
Be Colourfully Kind is the theme for this year’s Shavathon. It kicks off with all-day events on Saturday 24 February at selected shopping malls only throughout South Africa and continues with individual events held from 26 February to 29 March by workplaces, schools and organisations.
Says Elijah Masubelele, CANSA Head: Business Development: “While shopping malls provide us with wonderful platforms to host Shavathon activities every year, we have also found that running individual events with companies, schools and other organisations makes a significant positive impact on creating awareness and raising funds.”
The annual Shavathon never fails to catch the imagination of the South African public who turn up in droves each year to participate. The very brave shave off their hair, while others spray outrageous colours on their locks to symbolise their support for cancer survivors. And then there are those who grow their hair throughout the year to donate it on the day for the making of wigs for cancer survivors who have lost their hair during treatment. Those who cannot make the events have the option of making donations online.
“The Shavathon provides a great opportunity for organisations to run fun events that encourage teambuilding and volunteerism while also getting the serious key cancer-related messages across,” says Masubelele.
“We’re always emphasising that cancer knows no boundaries, whether racial, cultural, gender or age-related, and that early detection is the best weapon in the fight to overcome it. Shavathon is a light-hearted vehicle that enables us to expand on these topics in a non-threatening way.”
The Be Colourfully Kind theme emphasises the need for people to show empathy and understanding to those affected by the dread disease, while also maintaining a positive outlook.
The Shavathon is one of South Africa’s best-loved events allowing participants to show solidarity with those affected by cancer. Losing one’s hair is a common side-effect of cancer therapy – so shaving heads, has become a symbolic gesture of support for cancer survivors.
Colouring hair or paying a Bail Out Fee have become options for those who prefer not to shave, or who can’t shave on the day. For those who like to be actively engaged and to make a difference, Shavathon embraces volunteers. Their support is invaluable.
How to take part in the kindness this year
Schools and other educational institutions, companies and organisations are all welcome to register with CANSA and hold their own CANSA Shavathons between 26 February and 29 March.
The benefits of hosting a Shavathon event, includes creating a platform for teambuilding, an opportunity for volunteerism that some may not ordinarily have access to, spreading information about cancer and how to treat it and, most importantly, how to lower the cancer risk.
Want to be an online Champion?
We are looking for fundraising Champions to raise funds online and win prizes. “All you need to do is create an online fundraising project page for CANSA, using GivenGain’s digital platform, have an email address or a social media account.
You can mobilise your family, friends, colleagues and community to support you. In doing so you are helping us fight cancer and make a significant contribution towards supporting cancer patients and loved ones,” concluded Masubelele.
For more information on all Shavathon-related activities, visit https://shavathon.org.za/