Cancer survivors embark on new route to reach rural communities – Journey of Hope 2011 launched

In South Africa the detection and treatment of breast cancer is the preserve of those with medical aid and the money to pay for it.

The burden of breast cancer in South Africa is on the increase. Many women and men do not receive adequate care for the disease because of lack of access and low levels of awareness. Unless medical care, education and screening practices are improved, breast cancer mortality rates are projected to keep increasing.

Non-profit organisation, The Journey of Hope now in its fourth year, was established to educate and create awareness about breast cancer, the importance of early detection as well as providing support to those affected by the disease.

The Journey of Hope 2011, which was launched today at Montecasino, aims at educating the public and to de-mystifying the myth that only middle-aged women are prone to breast cancer. Over the course of the seven days the group will be riding motorcycles to raise awareness and educate communities about breast cancer and continue along a personal path of growth and healing by building a supportive community with other people throughout the country.

John Mitchell, Product Manager from Honda Motor Southern Africa was pleased to announce that Honda motorcycles will be the official sponsors of the motorcycles, training and road support for the Journey of Hope 2011. “We are delighted to endorse the Journey of Hope campaign, and are glad to be a part of this wonderful initiative. We at Honda understand the importance of creating awareness and support the ladies and gentleman who will be taking the message of early detection across South Africa.”

From 09 – 15 October 2011, 15 breast cancer survivors from all walks of life will embark on reaching rural communities by riding Honda motorcycles from Gauteng to Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the North West, to reach outlying communities and educate them about breast cancer.

Claudia Zwane, 28 year old breast cancer survivor and rider says, “if I had not been vigilant about self- examination and detected the changes in my body early, I would not be here today. During this year’s Journey of Hope Ride, it will be important for us to focus on rural areas and bringing home the message about the importance of early detection.”

According to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) one in 27 South African women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. More than 3 000 women die each year from the disease. Breast cancer is becoming more prevalent in younger women, but men are also affected and make up 1% of patients with cancer.

Tex Neveling is the Journey of Hope’s first male rider, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. “As the first man to join the Journey of Hope ride, it is important for me to raise awareness that breast cancer is not gender specific.” He hopes to change the perception that only women gets breast cancer and hopes to set a pace for other man to follow in creating awareness.

“It’s vital for people to understand the difference that detecting and treating breast cancer early can make,” says Zwane. “Most cancer campaigns are generally targeted at urban stakeholders and never reach the rural parts of our country where there is a great need for education. We also want to eradicate misconceptions and unfounded beliefs of breast cancer. In rural parts of South Africa, breast cancer is considered to be a result of a curse or poison sent by an enemy, or putting money inside bras; these are all myths that we need to dispel.”

Zwane continued, “Many women in the rural areas are without the much needed education on the basics of breast cancer and they hide their symptoms or simply fall into denial. When cancer is diagnosed early, treatment is often simpler and more likely to be effective. People are more likely to survive cancer if it is found at an early stage. With late diagnosis accounting for thousands of unnecessary deaths from breast cancer each year, it’s important to know what’s normal for your body and look out for any unusual or persistent changes.’’

For more information about the Journey of Hope 2011 ride contact their offices on 011 317 3861 or 082 840 3633 or visit their website www.journeyofhope.co.za

Local Green Building Conference to Share in International Best Practice Secrets

The Green Building Conference and Exhibition returns to Sandton Convention Centre, Gauteng, on 13 and 14 of July 2011, and will provide a powerful mix of international and local content for built-environment professionals and stakeholders.

Delegates to this year’s Green Building Conference can look forward to insights and lessons learnt during the development and implementation of Saudi Arabia’s award winning King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). KAUST is a large scale sustainable development project that has been integrated into the design of the entire community; the self-contained campus is operated in such a way as to preserve the environment and conserve resources. The total area spans more than 36 million m2 (nearly 9,000 acres). The University’s rooftop solar power plant features 4,134 m2 (one acre) of solar thermal panels for hot water production and 16,567 m2 (four acres) of photovoltaic arrays which produce around 4 megawatts of energy annually. The KAUST campus and community also utilizes alternative transportation methods to reduce the community’s carbon footprint by featuring 100 electric vehicles and charging stations, a campus-wide bus system, and a bicycle sharing program.

Every year, green building becomes more entrenched in conventional architecture, engineering and design, and this conference aims to offer insights into practical solutions for professionals and decision-makers by showcasing real case studies, discussing return on investment projects, and using examples that are applicable in the local context.

Lloyd Macfarlane, Chief Executive Officer at Alive2Green, says “We are delighted to have secured world renowned designers and experts who will accompany South Africa’s own leaders in sustainable construction in a new extended plenary format. Delegates will have the opportunity to attend 1 of 3 real-time green building design charrettes on day 2 – a collaborative session in which a group of design professionals and experts practically tackle the mechanics of a green building.”

Two of the leading international speakers who are set to address the conference, are Colin Rohlfing, Sustainable Design Director for projects within the Northern Central Region of HOK, and Megan Holder, Associate and Landscape Designer with HOK. Both Rohlfing and Holder have been extensively involved in the green building development of KAUST.

For full details of the conference, including a proposed programme of events, please visit <www.greenbuilding.co.za> www.greenbuilding.co.za or for any enquiries call 021 447 4733 / email < info@greenbuilding.co.za > info@greenbuilding.co.za .

Youth Take Action to Clean up Cape Town Beaches

Western Cape – Learners across Cape Town have been giving up their Saturday mornings to give back to the community by making sure everyone can enjoy a clean beach.

Learners across the Peninsula have been actively involved in cleaning up beaches in Cape Town since 2004. These clean-ups have been made possible by Peninsula Beverages (PenBev), who provide transport, health and safety equipment as well as refreshments at each of the clean-ups.

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Photo caption 1: The only things that should be taken from the beach are memories, and the only things left behind, footprints. This will enable man and the environment to exist in harmony and provide future generations with the opportunity to also enjoy the beauty of our beaches.

Learners enthusiastically tackled this cleaning challenge at Monwabisi Beach, near Strand earlier this month. Learners were selfless in giving their time to clean up the beach so that everyone can enjoy an unpolluted environment. The beach clean-up project forms part of PenBev’s “Live for a Difference” campaign, where caring for the environment is one of the many initiatives they support. “We believe that we need to drive the message home of a clean environment from an early age so that it becomes second nature in adulthood,” said Denise Green, PenBev’s Corporate Social Investment Manager.

PenBev provides support for the clean-up campaigns by sponsoring the learners’ transport, health and safety equipment as well as all refreshments. PenBev is committed to educating and uplifting the less privileged in our communities.

For more information on PenBev’s beach clean-ups contact PenBev 021 936 5500 or visit www.penbev.co.za.

New Partnership to address urgent need for safe water

The Responsible Packaging Management Association of Southern Africa (RPMASA) together with eThekwini Health have launched The Happy Drum Project providing thousands of community members access to clean containers for drinking water within the Metro and KwaZulu Natal region.

The Happy Drum project was launched to support the eThekwini Safe Drum Policy which the Department of Health will be launching soon. The purpose of the project is to stop the sale of used chemical and industrial drums and containers which pose serious health and pollution risks to the public, and health of the city. According to the new policy, companies and persons found guilty of supplying used drums and containers to traders and the public will be prosecuted.

According to Stats SA only 42% of the 13.8 million households in SA have access to running water in their homes and only 35% of the 2.6 million households in KwaZulu Natal. Thousands of people within the Mhlatuze, Msunduze and eThekwini area now have access to clean drinking water; a necessity taken for granted by most South Africans.

The Happy Drum project was launched to replace old drums with new affordable pink drums specifically for water collection and storage. Many used chemical and industrial drums and containers are sold daily by informal traders throughout the country to the urban and rural poor communities which are then used for collecting and storing water for drinking and domestic purposes; but this poses many health risks.

The Happy Drums project is aimed at educating the public and industry about the dangers of used chemical and contaminated drums for domestic purposes and removing them from the public domain.

“Death is roaming in the rural parts of the world and nobody cares,” says Liz Anderson, President of the RPMASA. “Surviving in the villages is a tough job. There is no access to running water and sufficient transportation.

We’ll reach more than 20 000 households in the first phase of the project and we hope to expand quickly next year to reach thousands more. We are hoping that the Department of Health will progress plans to roll out this project on a national basis once the first phase is complete.”

Anderson continued, “Our common vision is improving the lives of the poor informal urban and rural communities within our developing country. The project requires a mindset change and support from industry. When you look at a cheap used drum, some people would say the (chemical) one from the traders is cheaper than the pink drum. But when you factor in what you’re receiving in terms of health and safety the pink virgin drum is cheaper and safer to use and might actually be a life-saving decision. There has been very limited support and we urge organisations nationwide to demonstrate their social & environmental responsibility and support the Happy Drum initiative.”

For more information about the RPMASA and the Happy Drum Project contact their offices on (032) 942 8256 or visit their website www.rpmasa.org.za

Notes to Editors
The RPMASA is part of a network of organizations’ around the world that follow the entire lifecycle of Industrial packaging. RPMASA addresses economic, legal and regulatory concerns associated with drum and container use and uplifting the standard of drum reconditioning through global best practice, having a seat on the UN Committees of Experts for Transport of dangerous goods and the GHS, National Standards Committees and the Waste Act Steering committee.

Emmanuel Daycare Centre celebrates official opening

Atlantis, Western Cape – Today, 09 June 2011 Emmanuel Daycare Centre in Atlantis celebrated the official opening of their newly acquired premises.

Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev), Bottlers of the products of The Coca-Cola Company in the Western Cape, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Newlands has taken this very worthy cause to heart and provided the funds to purchase the property.

In November 2000, Marie Petersen, an ex-nurse and community worker decided to take it upon herself to try to meet the pressing need in the Atlantis community for a daycare facility catering for physically and intellectually challenged children. The Centre was initially housed in an old farmhouse which was not adequate for their needs. In 2010, Petersen took a giant leap of faith, and without knowing exactly how the new premises were to be sustainably funded, moved the Centre to a much newer building and grounds with all the space they so urgently required.

Petersen, the Manager of the Centre says “Without the assistance of PenBev, and other organisations, such as the Rotary Club of Newlands, I don’t know where we would be.” Petersen continues “There is no way in which we can say thank you enough. Their help has been an answer to our prayers.”

In this town, which is situated 40 kilometres from Cape Town, many of the children are from low income families with unemployed or single parents.

In an alarming number of instances, these children would be left at home, some unattended, with no assistance or stimulus. The children range in age from 12 months to adult.

Petersen added, “Many of the people at Emmanual Daycare Centre stay with us into adulthood, until they pass on. The severity of their disabilities are of such a nature that they can never be placed out into other facilities for further training.”

Emmanual Daycare Centre is a non-profit organisation and relies heavily upon the help of volunteers, and donations. Whist the centre falls under the auspices of the Western Cape Department of Health, the subsidy they receive is in no way adequate for their needs. This is a labour of love for Petersen and the other staff members. “There is very little financial reward, so you wouldn’t do this work unless you really had a calling for it,” says Petersen.

John Winship of the Rotary Club of Newlands explains “Amongst our many activities, the integration of corporate social investment funding with worthwhile projects is one of the highlights of the Club activities. Acting as an intermediary we can facilitate the delivery of identified projects, managing the professional service providers and delivering a great end product. In the case of Emmanuel, the building complex required a significant refurbishing and modernisation to meet the needs of the children.”

Stuart McLeod, Managing Director of PenBev says “We are delighted to have been able to make such a huge difference in the lives of the children that attend Emmanuel Daycare Centre.” He continues “We feel that it is our privilege to assist this Centre and in turn help those who so selflessly give of themselves to help others.”

McLeod adds, “For the past 50 years PenBev has invested in various community projects in the local communities where it operates and the Emmanuel Daycare Centre is the 25th project of this magnitude.”

During April this year, PenBev held a ‘Making a Difference’ day at Emmanual Daycare Centre where volunteer staff from their Parow plant cleaned up the garden and completed general repairs and maintenance to the building and the playground equipment.

Emmanuel Daycare Centre offers a safe and secure environment for some 40 children of the Atlantis community and surrounds. At the Centre through a feeding program, therapy, educational activities and health care they are able to acquire a sense of meaning in their lives and a semblance of independence for their future.

PenBev is actively involved in a number of projects under the ‘Live for a Difference’ banner which is their commitment to making a positive difference in the communities they serve by redesigning the way they work and live so that sustainability forms part of everything they do.

PenBev is an independent bottling company that holds the rights to manufacture and distribute the products of The Coca-Cola Company within the Western and Northern Cape. For more information on PenBev and their CSI activities contact Denise Green at PenBev on 021 936 5500 or visit