Think pink

In an interview, Sabina Khandwani the BurJuman Head of Public Relations and Marketing talks about the cancer awareness campaign programme coming up at the mall

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Published: Sun 16 Sep 2007, 11:02 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:49 PM

thinOBSERVING ITS 10TH anniversary this year, the BurJuman's 'Safe and Sound' breast cancer campaign, is aimed at women of all ages and ethnicities.

With females making the majority of the mall's customers, BurJuman realised the need for a comprehensive resource that provided information and education about breast cancer. The 'Safe and Sound' Campaign started in 1998 as an awareness campaign at clinics and also included the distribution of literature on breast cancer within the mall. It has so far been extended out to communities.

The awareness is designed to encourage women to do regular self-examinations and carry out further testing, including mammographies and clinical consultations.

This included working with partners and local government bodies to spread the message through a variety of activities across the UAE. Today, Safe and Sound is a year-long initiative that enjoys support from the public, government officials, sponsors and healthcare professionals.

Here are the excerpts from the interview:

BurJuman always has a line of events like fashion shows, and the Pink Walkathon. Tell me more about the events that will be happening this year.

This year's campaign will see a wider, fuller range of events than the previous years, including the 'Pink Walkathon', a walk for the charity on October 26. More than 4000 men, women and children of all ages and fitness levels wearing Safe and Sound T-shirts and caps, will join the breast cancer survivors who will lead the 3.6-kilometre walk.

thnimkOnce again the Drums of Hope will lead the Pink Walkathon who will provide encouragement to the participants and add to the general merriment during the walk. After the walk, participants can enjoy a fabulous Jazz breakfast at BurJuman, with entertainment provided by jazz musicians. Select food outlets will set up breakfast stands in the South Village from where visitors and participants can buy delicious breakfast and settle down to enjoy the entertainment which also includes clowns, kids entertainment and face painters happy to paint you up in pink.

Another highlight will be the survivors fashion show. The breast cancer survivors will model creations of the various fashion tenants from BurJuman. The objective of this show is to demonstrate the power and willingness of the survivors who have successfully fought through their battle with cancer, and are still able to stand strong and look beautiful as they grace the runway.

There will also be a Harley Davidson road parade within Dubai and the outskirts, where bikers in Safe and Sound t-shirts will parade to support the cause. BurJuman has also lined up many exciting events related to music, art, dance and health and fitness demonstration to bolster the message of this campaign.

The mall is partnering with its sponsors who include Welcare World, Red Crescent Society of UAE, Dubai Health Authority, Barclays, Marina Exotic Interiors and Memon Investments. Existing partner Hertz continues to be a key member of the programme to spread the message of hope.

Recently, the mall organised the 'Cup for Cancer' day where one dirham of every cup of coffee purchased from the outlets including Dome Café, The Gallery Restaurant, Barista Café, U and Me, and Tea Leaf Merchants Café went for Safe and Sound Programme.

Tell us about the history of Safe and Sound campaign

The programme started off as a small awareness campaign in BurJuman 10 years ago and today is the oldest, largest, most credible and comprehensive breast cancer awareness campaign in the Middle East. Through our strategic partnerships we have been able to touch the lives of so many and hope to continue to spread the message.

It is obvious that this is part of BurJuman's 'corporate social responsibility', but how would you review the campaign and the return of investment for the company?

BurJuman does not make any money from Safe and Sound. All the money raised through fund-raising initiatives such as the Cup for Cancer, Pink Walkathon and from partners goes into driving the awareness campaign ahead.

Initially we received a lot of support from Western and Asian expatriates but in the last few years, we've seen a number of local Emirati women and Arab expatriates get involved in the fight against this deadly disease. This unyielding support is how we judge the return of investment.

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