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VOC honours cancer survivors

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Following the success of a public awareness programme at Masjidul Quds on Tuesday, VOC took its Pink Hijab Day campaign one step further with a Cancer Survivor’s Breakfast. The social event brought together women from all ages to honour cancer survivors and aimed to break the stigma of oppression against women in Islam.

Donning their pink head scarves in celebration of the global campaign, VOC hosted around 100 women at the Alhambra Restaurant at Islamia High School. Attendees who were either cancer survivors or affected through the diagnosis of a loved one were treated to a range of delicacies and inspirational talks on how to take better care of your body. It wasn’t all a talk-shop, as the women were treated to a fashion show from top local hijab designers as well as makeup and scarf demonstrations.

VOC Trustee member, Nijmah Hayet opened the event by paying tribute to VOC’s legendary programme manager, the late Munadia Karaan who fought a lengthy battle with cancer. Hayet told the group of women that the event is aimed empowering woman to understand their bodies and recognise their worth.

“Through the assistance from local cancer groups, VOC has been able to drive this message home. VOC has been able to reach a wider audience in its three years of hosting the campaign. This campaign focuses on educating women and men about the importance of being in tune with their bodies. Awareness and education are vital as it leads to prevention and early detection,” Hayet told the audience.

Boland mualima and community worker, Khadija Patel-Allie addressed the pink filled room about the importance of turning to Allah (SWT) when faced with difficulties.

“Courage is something that is not a strange characteristic to women in attendance here. For all our mothers and sisters here who are survivors along with their supporters, we are given the glad tidings from Allah that no person will be given more than they can deal with. Having complete faith in this means that we understand that when cancer happens, inside of us there is a strength to deal with that which Allah (SWT) has given us,” Allie reassured.

VOC presenter Roshan Isaacs and her team ensured the women kept up to date with the latest in hijab fashion
VOC presenter Roshan Isaacs and her team ensured the women kept up to date with the latest in hijab fashion

After speeches were delivered, the ladies were treated to a special fashion show, showcasing the latest trends in Islamic women’s wear along with a step-by-step guide on how to drape the hijab in a fun and fashionable way.

The sisterhood and energy in the room could be felt from all attending. A collective sentiment amongst the ladies was that the event brought together women in a way that only strengthens their bonds and creates a platform of understanding and unity.

“This event touched my heart. It made me remember my loved ones who have passed on due to cancer. I am thankful to VOC to hosting such a fun and heart-warming day for us ladies, we often don’t get the time to leave our families and have a day all to ourselves so this was definitely a treat,” related Sharifah Collins.

Rushdiya Kallam says after losing her mother to cancer, this event allowed her to honour other women who are facing those same battles.

“I enjoyed myself. Being amongst all these ladies was truly inspirational. We look forward to this annual Pink Hijab Day as it really sheds much needed light on the plight of cancer survivors and their families,” Kallam continued.

Tickets to the event generated proceeds which VOC will be handing over to Pink Drive, Reach for Recovery and CANSA. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)

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