With the incidence of cancer constantly on the increase, the role of advocacy has once again been highlighted as a tool to fight the scourge. This call was made at the weekend, when Pink Pearl Foundation, a cervical and breast cancer advocacy charity organization, hosted its supporters and volunteers to a 5th Anniversary cocktail, tagged, “The Pink Issue’. The event was also an opportunity for the organization to present a scorecard of its activities over the last five years.
The event provided an opportunity for the organization to intimate its supporters and volunteers on its activities since inception and its plans for the future.
Founder of the organization, Orode Ryan-Okpu, in her address, stated that the organization has made a lot of progress in the last five years in fighting the cancer scourge. “We have engendered an understanding amongst women who hitherto knew little or nothing about the disease, by engaging in advocacy activities in rural and urban areas across the country. These advocacy activities have empowered women with life saving information such that most of them now know about cancer and have also been taught how to carry out regular self-examination,” she stated.
Commenting on the plans of the organization, the Founder stressed that there is a need to build more capacity in advocacy, but also very importantly, in treatments. She stated, “We have already started work on the development of Cancer Diagnostics Centres in three states of the Federation. We intend to have mobile screening centres across Nigeria, and produce a cancer-based movie in pidgin and English Language. There are also plans for the development of a women empowerment centre to provide economic rehabilitation for cancer survivors. These are very ambitious projects, but we are encouraged by the progress we have made so far and we are sure with support from volunteers and other partners, we can make them happen.”
In his address, Onye Ubanatu, Partner, Pink Pearl Foundation, stressed the need for the organization to move to another level in its operations. He stated, “We have spent the last five years trying to build credibility and a solid reputation. We believe we have made progress with these by deploying innovative engagement platforms like the Pink Bike Ride, Pink Kitchen, Advocacy and Screening Programmes, to mention a few. However, Pink Pearl Foundation also understands that we cannot rest on our oars because there are still a lot of people to reach out to and help to fight the disease.”
Supporters and volunteers of the organization, including the First Lady of Lagos State, Dame Abimbola Fashola, attended the event.
Pink Pearl Foundation was set up in 2007 to empower women to fight the battle against cervical and breast cancers. It has carried out advocacy activities across the country, in Universities, Churches, Mosques, Communities, Social Organisations and so on. The organisation’s advocacy activities have reached out to about 3,800 women on a yearly basis in the last five years. In 2008, the Foundation donated a Mammogram to the Central Hospital in Sapele, Delta State. The Foundation also carried out Charity Giveaway activities, targeting about 5,000 kids in Ajugunle, a community in Lagos in April 2012. In December 2011, the organization also reached out to orphanage homes with Charity Giveaways. The Foundation has also developed audio-visual productions of Breast Self Examination process in English and Pidgin English to educate women on how to carry out Breast Self Examination to detect Cancer lumps in their breasts.