Avon Justine kicked off cancer awareness month by recognising Dr Lillian Dube’s efforts to raise awareness of breast cancer in South Africa.
The gesture is the first in a series of events that Avon Justine will be hosting in line with its breast cancer promise which outlines the importance of ensuring that all women in the country know about breast cancer and understand their screening options.
A global breast cancer study by Avon in numerous countries, including South Africa reported that only 2 out of 5 women know the early signs of breast cancer.
“This indicates that there is still a need for massive education and awareness across the country,” says Bridget Bhengu, Corporate Communications Director at Avon Justine.
The company has raised over 23 million towards breast cancer education and awareness since 2001 and is committed to ensuring that no woman is left in the dark about the disease, which is the leading type of cancer affecting women in South Africa.
“As such we work with a number of strategic non-profit organisations as part of our continued campaign to help increase early detection in our communities as well as support breast cancer patients and survivors,” adds Bhengu.
The organisation works with the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), Wings of Hope, Look Good… Feel Better (LGFB) and Journeysys to this end.
Avon Justine has supported CANSA’s educational outreach programme which runs for three months in three provinces over the last three years.
The programme is estimated to have reached more than 50 000 women during this period. With LGFB, Avon Justine provides products for their nationwide workshops with cancer patients.
The programme enables cancer patients to learn about which products are safe to use during treatment and furthermore how to use these products to beautify themselves in a way that reduces the visual effect of their condition.
More than 46 000 women have attended the LGFB workshops. Wings of Hope, a breast cancer support group run by breast cancer survivors, holds public meetings throughout the year to assist patients and their families.
Avon Justine has been supporting the organisation’s programme over the last three years. The company has recently started supporting Journeysys which has a broader scope as it seeks to holistically address issues round brand cancer from diagnoses through to post-treatment care and lifestyle factors.
In addition to its work with these organisations, Avon Justine also hosts the annual iThemba Walkathon to generate massive awareness of breast cancer. The largest breast cancer walk in over 50 countries in which Avon operates, the event attracts thousands of walkers with Dr Lillian Dube attending more than half of the 15 editions of the event in previous years.