WINDHOEK, March 25 (Xinhua) -- A community initiative in Windhoek, Namibia's capital, is driving efforts to sew breast prostheses and wigs to boost the confidence of local women who undergo mastectomy and chemotherapy.
Janene Eiman, a project coordinator of the Sew-cialize initiative, said that the first edition of the drive aimed to bring together volunteers to sew together and bridge the gaps of affordability of breast prostheses and wigs by the majority of local women diagnosed with breast cancer.
"When you get breast cancer and undergo the various treatments, you lose more than a breast and lose hair and your womanhood, which takes away even your strength. Through this initiative, we want to give women a boost," said Eiman, who is also a breast cancer survivor.
Breast cancer remains the most prevalent form of cancer in Namibia, with women accounting for five percent of cases diagnosed, according to the Cancer Association of Namibia.
The initiative further sought to build a sense of community and a robust support system to debunk societal stereotypes and enhance understanding of the impact of cancer on individuals and society.
"Usually, volunteers on similar campaigns have cancer. We wanted to go beyond that and expand the voluntary involvement of community members in cancer projects. This way, we empower others," she said.
Hester Koch, one of the volunteers, said the initiative also served as a platform to network, educate others about prevention and encourage early detection. Moreover, the initiative also served as an avenue to learn and extend care.
Lorraine Feris, a pensioner from Windhoek, volunteered to positively impact local women diagnosed with cancer. "I love doing something good for others to help them rebuild confidence, and sewing is my demonstration of care and solidarity," said Feris, who started needling in 2020.
The one-day initiative has attracted over ten volunteers from a diverse portfolio, including hairdressing, needling, tailoring, education, and medical care.
Eiman said that the items produced on Saturday would be distributed to beneficiaries across the country by the Cancer Association of Namibia, which hopes to run the initiative monthly in all 14 regions of Namibia. ■