South Africa
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Ithemba walkathon

20-Plus years of crusading against breast cancer

Thousands of shades of pink have comprised Avon’s palettes for blush, lipstick and eye shadow over the years. But the most important hue is the one representing the company’s fight against breast cancer. Over $815 million globally and R15 million in South Africa has been raised for this cause.

Creation of a crusade

Avon’s crusade against breast cancer was launched in the U.K. in 1992 to bring the company’s vision to life. Through Avon’s sales channel, an army of independent Representatives was mobilised to raise awareness and funds for the cause, starting with the sale of a breast cancer awareness pin. Proceeds from the sales of the pin were donated to Breakthrough, a British organisation which needed funding to build a centre for breast cancer research.

By 2001, Avon had established the iThemba Crusade of Hope in South Africa, working primarily with the Breast Health Foundation (and Bosom Buddies support Group) as well Look Good…Feel Better, an organisation that helps women in active cancer treatment in a practical and empowering way. Working hand in hand with these organisations, Avon has enabled 730 000 women to be reached with breast cancer and education and awareness through mobile education units while over 22 000 women having attended a Look Good… Feel Better workshop.

Breast cancer awareness walks: “259 times Around the Globe”

Last year the iThemba Walkathon in Johannesburg attracted a record 21 500 participants making it the biggest single day breast cancer awareness event in the Avon world. The iThemba Walkathon is one of numerous Avon breast cancer walks that take place in October each year…

Since the start of the Avon Walk in the U.S. a decade ago, participants have supported critical community outreach and education, raising awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection. Year after year, the Walk continues to pick up the pace:

· Through 2013, Avon Walkers had collectively circumnavigated the globe more than 259 times, or 6.25 million miles
· More than 14,000 breast cancer survivors had participated
· And more than 192,000 people had walked or served on "crew"

Avon Breast Cancer Crusade Today

Today, Avon’s global crusade against breast cancer is a powerful global force: Avon is the leading corporate supporter of the breast cancer cause worldwide. The company has donated more than $815 million to accelerate research progress and improve access to care. Its impact has been far and wide-reaching:

· Linking more than 18 million women around the globe to early detection programs and mammography screenings.
· Educating more than 145 million women on breast health
· Expanding into more than 50 countries
· Enabling access to care for underserved populations
· Providing more than $200 million to breast cancer research projects since 1999
· Creating Love/Avon Army of Women, a program designed to accelerate the pace of prevention research by enlisting more than 350,000 women (potential study volunteers) for this effort.

Fighting Until the Crusade Becomes Obsolete

Beauty trends come and go, but pink will continue to be a critical colour for Avon and the lives of millions of women around the globe. Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women will fight until there is an end to breast cancer … and the Crusade becomes truly obsolete.


AvonJustine iThemba Crusade of Hope@iThembaCrusade