Cancer awareness campaign held in Cosmo City

“When it comes to cancer, most people lack knowledge and hope,” said Gamalethu Nomvula Ngongoma the finalist of MrsCommon Wealth South Africa during the cancer awareness campaign held at Liberty Church in Cosmo City on 18 May.

“The black community always assumes cancer is a western disease, which can only affect white people” she said. “There is a lack of knowledge. Those who are affected, feel stigmatized, and they lose hope. Cancer victims should not be given discouraging news, but should be loved and motivated because it is a curable disease.”

Community members attended the event alongside various NGOs working to give hope and support to cancer victims. The NGOs included Pink Drive, Gladiators of Hope, Cancervive and Sedumedi Hope Foundation. 

Ngongoma, who organised the event, added that it is not a bad thing for people to use other means of medication to cure cancer. “The majority of the people fear to do chemo therapy,” she said. “They think it will  harm  their bodies. That is lack of knowledge, and our aim is to bring proper knowledge to the community.”

Whether you have had cancer before or not, Ngongoma said you can play part in fighting against cancer. 

Also attending the event was Dr Blessing Sikhanda, a gynecologist.  Hewho said he has a special interest in fighting cancer. Doctors should go an extra mile and play a pastoral role, he said, showing love and support when they work with people affected by the cancer health challenge.

Inspirational speaker, entrepreneur, and author Tumi Leeuw-Mosiane gave a motivational speech. He said the tongue is powerful in directing our future and he challenged people to embrace whatever rial they face – whether in health, finances or emotional balance -with boldness and to grow from the struggle to overcome their problems.

A push against sexual abuse

“We heard that one father was sleeping with his own biological teenage daughter, and he also tried to forcibly sleep with the second daughter,” said Samantha Moloi the founder of Renewed Minds, a Non-Profit Organization dealing with sexual abuse issues, speaking of unreported sexual crimes in the community. 

When the family discovered that the father was sexually abusive, Moloi said, they decided to keep it as a family secret.

“Keeping a secret of a sexual crime is not a good thing,” she said. “If you do not report the sexual crime perpetrators, you are putting the victims in danger. There are many sexual victims with unreported cases out there, and our aim is to assist them.”

Renewed Minds goes to Cosmo City’s primary and high school students creating awareness about what sexual abuse is and how to deal with it, Moloi said.

“It is not always easy to go straight to the young children and talk about sexual abuse,” she said. “Normally we start by talking about bullying until they open up, then we discuss rape issues. We do not just talk to them, but we also encourage and motivate them to report such cases.”

Moloi said that through her organisation she wants to change the way sexual abuse victims think. People perpetuate the culture of sexual abuse by not talking to learners, she said.

“I want to strip the shame away from the victims,” Moloi said, “so that they can start speaking about it. Whether people like it or not, we are going to talk about it because it destroys our society.”

Blue Eagle High principal Patricia Ndlala said Renewed Minds is providing a service that can help school children and the community at large.

“They educated children about consent,” said Ndlala. “Sometimes, when teenage girls are in a relationship they feel their boyfriends are entitled to sleep with them. There are certain things that students cannot confide to their teachers, so we really appreciate Renewed Minds for reaching out to our school.”

Police ask for divine intervention to curb crime

 Police attended a prayer meeting this morning in Fairlands as a way to gain more divine guidance when dealing with crime activities in areas like Cosmo City and Zandspruit.

Anglican Parish: St Mihcaels and All Angels Weltevreden Park churches organised the breakfast prayer meeting. During the event, police interacted with the religious individuals and community members.

Churches want the communities to get together and assist the police to reduce the crime, according to Hettie Wessels of NG Weltevreden Park church.

“Communities need peace, and we can achieve that through divine intervention. We decided to get the police involved as well,” she said.

Nicolette Segeel said it is very important for the police to be part of community prayer meetings. “We appreciate the police for the work they do out there,” said Segeel. “We need to show them that we really want to work with them do reduce crime which is prevailing in our communities and throughout the country.”

It is a positive thing to see religious people willing to work with the emergency services, said Colonel Mila  Makgamatha of Honeydew Police Station.

“At our station, we are dealing with victims of different types of crimes,” said the Colonel. “Most of the people who handle such crime cases need services like counseling.  I think we really need such spiritual, religious people on our side so that we can bring change in the communities.” 

Mpact Recycling and Tammy Taylor beauty pageants visit St Ansgar’s High

Mpact Recycling teamed up with Tammy Taylor Mrs. South Africa semifinalists on 29 April to educate and inspire students at St Ansgar’s High school in Lanseria about the importance of recycling.

Mpact Recycling collects recovered paper and plastic throughout the country. Tammy Taylor Mrs. South Africa is a national beauty pageant for married woman that, aims to share true South African stories and to empower women.

 “We are working together with Mrs. Tammy Taylor South Africa semifinalists,” said Mpact Recycling’s representative Johannes Mohlala. “Our aim is to promote recycling awareness to the learners.  Most students do not understand recycling.” Recycling helps people to get funds that can be used for community and school development, Mohlala said.

“Recycling also contributes to serving the environment,” he said. “Whatever we are recycling, we are diverting it from disturbing the environment, and the good part is that we will use it again. We are targeting these students because we have a school programme that we are running at Mpact Recycling. We have an annual national school competition for recycling projects, and it is worth 10 thousand Rands.”

John Chabalala, deputy principal at the school, said he was thankful for the recycling programme.

“Most of our learners are coming from disadvantaged families,” Chabalala said. “I am sure this initiative will work to their advantage and the school’s as well.  The learners were clueless about the recycling concept. We really appreciate this initiative because it has opened the learners’ eyes.”

Recycling will help the school with the issue of littering, he said.

“I also want to thank the beauty pageant semifinalists who came to our school. They are playing a pivotal role at the school, and their presence was an eye opener to the students.” 

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