Children participating in the Kids Ride event of Pink Caravan at Desert Palm Resort in Dubai on Friday.
Dubai - The fourth day of the event was themed for the kids
For the first time in the Pink Caravan ride's history, young advocates of the campaign took part in an event with their horses and covered over a 7km route on Friday at the Desert Palm Resort in Dubai.
The fourth day of the event was themed for the kids and a number of activities were organised to keep them busy while their mums ride the horses. Differently-abled kids and adults also participated and took a ride of around 1.5km.
Tracy Irwin, a resident of Desert Palm Resort area, came with her two daughters - Isabella (8 years) and Georgia (6 years) - to attend the event.
Before taking the ride, she told Khaleej Times: "I am based in Dubai for the last 24 years, but I am participating in this programme for the first time. Now, I am going to take the ride and my kids will be with their nanny. This event features a range of entertainment activities for the children and so the little ones will enjoy here."
The open area looked vibrant and lively with pink balloons, bouncy castle, face painting, a photo wall, a petting zoo and other attractions that kept the youngsters involved and engaged in the fun-filled arrangement.
Eunilyn Enero, one of the decorators of the kid's entertainment area, said: "It took us almost an hour to prepare this place for the children. We tried making it as colourful and catchy as possible so that the younger ones can make the most of it and have great time on the off day. More than 50 kids are expected to turn up at the event and we are prepared well to attend them".
Amira Hafez Moustafa, team coordinator in the medical team, was accompanied by her three younger siblings - Amina (8 years), Yousef and Yara (6 years). "I am participating in Pink Carvan since 2012 and it is something very close to my heart. The idea behind keeping this on Friday is to give some time for mothers to spend with their kids. We will also share information on breast cancer and the importance of early examination to the girls above 18 years. My siblings are super excited and I can see the happiness on their faces as they have drawing zone and small ponies to ride on today."
The event started around 2pm and went on till 5pm. People from different nationalities kept walking in with their families and children. Even the hot afternoon didn't stop them from participating in the campaign. Steffani Uuegmall, a German living in Dubai for last eight years, tries to attend the Pink Caravan every year.
"It is a brilliant thing and I must say the organisers are really doing a great work by putting across the message differently each year. I remember riding the horse during one of the events in the Pink Caravan last year. I am proud to be a part of this campaign that encourages women to be healthy and follow a better lifestyle," she said.
Her daughter, Romy, a Grade 7 student, added: "It is important and good for women to keep a check on their health and I believe this initiative is getting bigger and better every year. I am glad that I came with my mum as it is informative and entertaining at the same time."
For young riders like Noha Mohamed (20 years) and Iman Hak (17 years), this is a wonderful opportunity to not only learn more facts about breast cancer, its early detection and screening programmes but also help in raising funds for the Pink Caravan.
Iman said: "Honestly, this is so motivating that in this part of the world, women are equally treated. This initiative is one of the best examples which is dedicated for women and the awareness for their health".
Dania Shihab, a housewife based in Sharjah, attended the Pink Caravan Kids Day with her nine-year-old son and five-year-old daughter.
"While coming here, I was trying to explain my kids about breast cancer as I think it is very important to make them aware of it as early as possible. I am going for the check-ups for the last three years. I thought bringing kids here and involving them in the event will be good. I am happy they are enjoying with other kids here playing and of course learning," she said.
It was really fun, says 10-year-old rider
Al Joud Mohamed Al Hajaj, a 10-year-old girl, is new to the riding world. The Grade 6 student from International School of Arts & Science in Dubai enthusiastically participated in the Kids Ride, with her mother and nine-year-old sister supporting her.
"It was really fun and an extra ordinary experience for me today. I am here for a great cause and I had to really support this as I know many people who suffered from the breast cancer. I think this is the best way to spread awareness about it and raise funds."
She also encouraged her friends to be a part of this movement and support the noble cause. She concluded: "When it comes to health, I am happy that I was made aware about this desease at this age and I surely will spread the word."
Two records in one day
Ras Al Khaimah: The Pink Caravan Ride marked two records on its third day, as the riders mapped the picturesque coastal towns of Dibba Al Fujairah and Dibba Al Hisn on Thursday.
The ride's Medical Route had a busy day receiving 977 visitors, the largest number of walk-ins the campaign has received so far in a single day. What made the day even more significant was the participation of 148 male visitors at the Saqr Hospital in Ras Al Khaimah for breast cancer screenings and medical advice.
The visitors included 267 locals and 710 expats who underwent 376 mammograms, 555 regular screenings and 46 ultrasounds. Of the total number of visits, 212 were made at fixed clinics operating in the seven emirates. Raising the total numbers of screenings in 3 days to 2131, including 304 men.
Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, director-general of Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) and head of Pink Caravan's Medical and Awareness Committee, said: "We are on a mission to eliminate taboos and build community awareness, so what happened at Saqr Hospital is truly encouraging for the Pink Caravan advocates. While it is true that the odds of a man getting breast cancer are about 1 in 1,000, they carry a higher mortality than women do, primarily because awareness among men is less, which can cause a delay in seeking treatment. We want the UAE's citizens and residents, whether male or female, to take charge of their health and wellbeing, and we are right here to aid them in every way we can."
After receiving his breast cancer screening at Saqr Hospital, Mohammed Adeeb Kaddah said, "I would like to thank Pink Caravan for enhancing health and safety of the citizens and residents of the UAE. I did not know before today that breast cancer is a disease that can affect men. I encourage every man to go ahead and do what I did."