While October is recognized world wide as the month to spread awareness about breast cancer, November is dedicated to prostate cancer. Saudi campaigns encouraged women to get a checkup last month, now is the time for men to do the same.
The Movember Foundation started a movement in Australia in 2003 for more awareness on prostate cancer. During this annual charity event men grow their mustaches for 30 days and find sponsors to donate money to the cause. The foundation was listed in 2012 as one of the top 100 NGOs in the world. Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, to ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths. Besides getting an annual check-up, the foundation encourages men to be aware of any family history of cancer, and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
A group of young men in Jeddah started their own campaign to support this cause by taking pictures of Jeddawi men and women with a mustache. Libra Productions, an audio and video production house, started the Moshaneb campaign and spread the pictures on social media and encouraged men to grow their mustaches. Moshaneb combines the word Movember and the Arabic word for mustache.
The Libra Productions team opened their studio to anyone who was willing to take a photo with a fake or real mustache, write a message and spread it on social media.
“We have found out that prostate cancer is a sensitive issue to a lot of men. They would rather avoid going to a doctor to avoid being embarrassed,” said Thamer Farhan, projects and musical talents manager at Libra Productions.
Libra Productions believes in the value of entertainment and creativity. When dealing with sensitive issues, many people don’t respond well to alarming numbers, disturbing images and negative comments. That’s why Libra Productions decided to make people laugh and make them feel that it is not embarrassing to go and do the check up.
They believe this helped break the barrier between individuals and information.
“The mustache is Movember’s global symbol but the idea of an entertaining campaign for everyone to participate in, is new. We started it in our team and added our friends. Then a lot of others showed readiness to support Moshaneb and the campaign was on its way,” he added.
Over 300 people have participated in the Moshaneb campaign and a lot more people have reserved a place for future photo sessions to support the cause.
“A lot of the participants got introduced to information about prostate cancer that they had not been familiar with before.”