Breast Cancer is the most prevalently intrusive cancer found amongst women. For many, donning the pink ribbon today symbolises promise, courage and a sense of unity among the community for those who’ve been diagnosed and cancer awareness related organisations.
Pioneering the support of breast cancer survivors and recognising an urgent need to bring to the forefront the effects of this disease is the Thato Molamu Foundation. They hosted the bi-annual Pink Golf Challenge to increase awareness of cancer.
The TM foundation is associated with a plethora of worthy philanthropic initiatives. Advocating for social issues such as healthcare, education and the creative industries. Having said that, what is the foundation’s mission and how do you promote the importance of these causes to the community?
The mission is always sustainable change and community development. Being a part of the solutions communities need and having those communities themselves participate in driving those solutions. Creating a mind-shift with the psychological poverty that has been perpetuated by the systems created before democracy. Not to politicise our message but affirm the development of the mind as part of our education pillar. Hence the opening of our own school to drive education and groom content creators with the ability to own their narratives within their communities from their own perspectives.
What are the foundations biggest accomplishments to date? May you share one or two stories of individuals or communities whose lives have been changed because of the foundation.
In July 2018, we launched the Leaders in Motion Academy located in Eersterust through corporate fundraising and self-funding. We launched the school with 35 students from the township to provide them with access to education and within a span of a year, those students had already worked on projects involving the likes of brands such as Huawei and productions on SABC2. Having grown to about 92 students from the initial 35, we’ve partnered with the Alex Arts Academy to launch a second campus. We’ve also launched a program targeting the gender-based violence movement called The Girl Without Identity and The Boy Without Identity respectfully where we’ll be collaborating with SoulCity. Launching a gender-based violence chat box while the Boy Without Identity program aims at mentoring young boys.
Now I’d like to better understand how you engage your supporters. If I wanted to get involved with the foundation what are the best ways to learn more on how to do so and how do you keep your supporters up-to-date with the work the foundation does?
Social media has always been a great platform for communication, but to know more about what you can do for the foundation you can go to our website. With the businesses I’m involved in and I adopted a ‘let the work speak for itself’ approach but you realise people in the society want to know how they can contribute so we started putting more work into our social media pages to make them more communicative.
What plans do you have for the foundations’ future and how are you going to accomplish them?
Part of our plan in the next five years is to have 1365 young people building businesses because entrepreneurship is quite big to me and township development at that level is quite important. There are three key pillars and they are structured into how our businesses function. Gateway Media is our media company that has now created conversational radio TV and as we grow will become an online 24-hour channel. We’ve developed an academy, which should be able to develop into a partner for the channel. From a foundation perspective, it is to establish how best to support young people within the creative industry. In health space, we want to build an oncology centre, do an extended cancer unit for all the public hospitals in the country so that they are able to tackle the issue that is cancer. Outside of that scope, we’re going to be using our academy to drive the content of awareness around different sectors in health, which is quite an extensive plan.
To wrap up, seeing as October marks breast cancer awareness month and with the Thato Molamu Foundation hosting an event such as the Pink Golf Challenge it shows the need to increase attention and support for the awareness of this disease. Would you like to share a message of encouragement to the community of breast cancer survivors and those who are currently under treatment?
No action is ever too small when it comes to changing the world. And with this initiative, I want to our cancer survivors to know that someone out there is actually thinking about them. You’re never alone and with the Thato Molamu foundation where we can make a difference, we’re there. Also, share the importance of early testing and to encourage more men to test for breast and prostate cancer.
This years’ challenge was a raging success and helped show how the foundation values support it receives from the public and how they’re making an impact in the fight against cancer. Educating yourself more on the importance of early screening and detection of cancer can enable more effective treatment and recovery. The Pink Golf Challenge will take place annually in four-part activations on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Heritage Day and the main golf challenge fittingly taking place during breast cancer awareness month, October.