THOUSANDS of golden ribbons will be distributed across Bahrain to raise, and spread, awareness about childhood cancer.
The Kids ‘R’ Golden campaign, to be launched next month, is aimed at educating people about cancer among children, symptoms and the importance of early detection.
The drive, which is part of the Future Youth Society’s Smile Initiative, will also seek to convey hope among families of children suffering from cancer and help them fight the disease with a smile.
Society chairman Suab Al Zayani said he hoped the golden ribbons will attain the same recognition for childhood cancer as pink ribbons did for breast cancer.
“We already have 5,000 ribbons to be distributed; more will be ordered based on the demand,” Mr Al Zayani told the GDN.
“Our most important strategic partner in this campaign is the Health Ministry which is a major positive step as we have been allowed to set up our stands in the ministry’s clinics, health centres and hospitals.
“We will be able to distribute our brochures at these places to promote our campaign – and help spread awareness as a large number of people visit health centres, clinics and hospitals.
“This means our message will reach a wider section of society.
“Our aim is to distribute 10,000 ribbons this year.”
The society is also working closely with a number of banks and private companies along with the Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry to ensure their employees wear the ribbons during September.
“We have reached an agreement with Seef Mall in Manama to set up our stand inside the mall on September 21 and 22 to help us spread awareness as part of our campaign,” added Mr Al Zayani.
There are currently 120 children registered under the Smile Initiative whose cases are monitored daily, covering education to home visits and social activities catering to their needs.
When the children beat the disease a ceremony is held to celebrate their survival.
They are known as ‘Smile Heroes’ and along with their parents they are presented with commemorative shields.
The Kids ‘R’ Golden campaign this year will include an opening ceremony at Salmaniya Medical Complex next Sunday along with an entertainment day for the ‘Smile Heroes’ on September 8.
“We will also have five stands set up in major health centres of the governorates in order to speak to people and increase awareness,” added Mr Al Zayani.
“Medical information will be supplied to children and parents in a simple, light manner.
“We will provide information about the importance of a healthy diet and exercising while avoiding junk food, sugary foods and soft drinks to protect themselves from childhood cancer.”
Mr Al Zayani hoped the golden ribbons initiative will help raise awareness and express solidarity with childhood cancer patients.
“We want people to wear the ribbon and continue with their daily activities.
“We are also providing a flyer with the golden ribbon for people to explain why they are wearing the ribbon during September.
“We need everyone to wear the ribbons this September, and for those who believe in this cause to keep wearing the ribbon throughout the year and not just during September.”
A walkathon is also being organised on September 28 at the Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Park in Hidd with a number of schools, civil society organisations and companies expected to take part.
Contact 17725517 or 33919082 to join the movement and receive a golden ribbon and follow @smileofbahrain on Instagram.