CANSA Celebrating 90 Years – Together We Give
23 November 2021 – CANSA, founded in 1931, has reached an extraordinary milepost, celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. CANSA has remained relevant, highly adaptable, and resilient, through refining its focus and service offerings to better meet the needs of those affected by cancer and educate the public on how to lower cancer risk.
#TogetherWeGive #GivingTuesday #CANSA90
CANSA demonstrated this adaptability when responding to the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, by substantially increasing its online support offering and resources to patients and loved ones, who struggled to deal with the isolation imposed by lockdowns and fear of contracting the virus due to lowered immunity. This included information for cancer patients to protect themselves against COVID-19.
On Giving Tuesday (30 November 2021) from 12:00 to 13:15, CANSA invites the public to join a virtual celebration ‘Conversations with CANSA – Celebrating 90 Years’, on CANSA’s Facebook page or YouTube. It’s an opportunity for the public to give an online donation in support of the efforts CANSA makes to help those affected by cancer.
Elize Joubert, CANSA CEO, appreciates being able to make a positive impact in a cancer patient or loved one’s life through the Organisation. “I am immensely proud of all CANSA’s achievements, and to have played a role. CANSA’s service includes supporting local cancer research and driving community based educational campaigns to lower personal cancer risk. We further offer cancer screening and employee wellness programmes promoting early detection and providing a care service that helps patients and loved ones to manage the physical and psychological challenges of cancer treatment in a practical manner. Our CANSA Care Homes cater for patients receiving cancer treatment offering accommodation, transport and meals and we’ve accommodated more than 33 000 cancer patients at our Care Homes over the last 10 years.”
Joubert adds, “Despite the impact of COVID-19 and strain on resources, we actively make use of technology to support daily operations, with the dual purpose of lowering costs, while forging better ways of providing service.”
CANSA launched CANSA Tele Counselling in 2020, free cancer specific tele counselling in seven languages. In addition to those who have received Tele Counselling, CANSA has individually counselled nearly 200 000 people over the last 10 years. Patient support groups continue via online platforms. CANSA assists an average of 900 – 1000 people through its Help Desk per month.
Advocating and Educating
CANSA also advocates for patients’ rights within the workplace and access to treatment, medication, pain control and palliative care. CANSA has contributed to the National Cancer Strategic Framework, 2017 – 2022, and to updating national cancer prevention and control policies for breast, cervical and prostate cancer (yet to be published). ( For more achievements regarding advocacy, view the CANSA 90th Infographic). CANSA has produced over 300 Fact Sheets to help educate about cancer and related information.
Bugs Pancha, President Board: “I serve CANSA because of the joy I get from working with the most dedicated and committed team. Within the next 10 years I would like to see CANSA’s research, education and support programmes expanded and reaching all people in our country.”
While the Chairperson, Vuyokazi Memani-Sedile, Chairperson Board added, “In the words of Madiba ‘education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’. The more people we educate the more the word can be spread so that people can get checked for cancer or get treatment earlier.”
CANSA relies heavily on individuals, corporate donors, donations and volunteerism to fund its service, care and support programmes, advocacy and research initiatives.
Memani-Sedile believes that one of CANSA’s most extraordinary achievements in its 90 years of operation is establishing a community of people, affected by cancer in one way or another, who work together to raise funds and get work done.
“These include cancer Survivors, caregivers, medical and research professionals, sponsors and the general public who never cease to surprise us with their generosity and participation in our national and regional events, be it face-to-face or virtual,” says Memani-Sedile.
In the past few years alone, CANSA has been recognised nationally for its significant contribution to South Africa’s fight against cancer. It was also voted the ‘Most Coolest’ brand by youngsters in the 2016 Sunday Times Generation Next Survey.
In November 2015, CANSA’s CEO was announced as the African Continental Winner for Welfare and Civil Society Organisations at the 2015 Africa’s Most Influential Women (MIW) in Business and Government Awards. This followed her winning two awards in July: ‘Country Winner from South Africa’ and ‘SADC South Regional’ for the category ‘Welfare and Civil Society Organisations.’ In June 2016, a testicular cancer video made pro bono by partner agency HelloFCB+ won an international Silver Cannes Lions Award and three local Loerie awards. They further developed a prostate cancer video (also pro bono) that won two Loerie awards in 2020.
In April 2018, CANSA partnered with the University of KwaZulu-Natal and KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health to promote awareness of cervical cancer and increase screening achieving a Guinness World Record number for the most Pap smears in a day.
Joubert concludes,” I am so grateful that I am surrounded by a highly driven and successful Board, staff and volunteers who genuinely care about those they work with and the communities in which they serve. We wouldn’t be able to operate without our committed volunteers, who are the backbone of our Organisation, or the public’s support. Together, we continue making an impact based on our values of leadership, improvement, passion, accountability and integrity. We encourage you to visit our CANSA Website for more information on how you can become involved with our organisation or to make an online donation.”
For more information, please contact Lucy Balona, Head: Marketing and Communication at CANSA at email firstname.lastname@example.org. Call 011 616 7662 or mobile 082 459 5230.
CANSA offers a unique integrated service to the public and to all people affected by cancer. CANSA is a leading role-player in cancer research and the scientific findings and knowledge gained from our research are used to realign our health programmes, as well as strengthen our watchdog role to the greater benefit of the public. Our health programmes comprise health and education campaigns; CANSA Care Centres that offer a wide range of care and support services to those affected by cancer; stoma and other clinical support; medical equipment hire, as well as a toll-free line to offer information and support. We offer a Tele Counselling service in seven languages free of charge. We also supply patient care and support in the form of 8 CANSA Care Homes in the main metropolitan areas for out-of-town cancer patients and CANSA-TLC lodging for parents and guardians of children undergoing cancer treatment.
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