Humairah Jassat, 21, started Pink Hijab Day in reaction to her aunt’s cancer.
‘My aunt had cancer, and I could see that she was ashamed to lose her hair,’ founder Jassat said in an interview, ‘That year four women in my community passed away because of breast cancer.’
While researching breast cancer online, she came across American Muslims wearing pink hijabs. This sparked an idea and the, at the time, 17-year old decided to start Pink Hijab Day in South Africa to help other women even more unlucky than her aunt – those in government hospitals without anything. By getting people across the country to don pink scarves, and then donating them, Jassat ensured that awareness was raised and that the survivors in government hospitals had something to protect their dignity with. ‘It lets them know that we care,’ says the enthusiastic Jassat.
In the first year of the project, Jassat got over 10,000 people across South Africa to wear pink scarves. ‘I was trying to make a selfish generation grow up,’ she explained.
She still regularly visits government hospitals, with or without other volunteers, donating scarves and trying to lift cancer survivor’s spirits with a cupcake and a smile.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Buy and wear a pink scarf on 23 October 2012, then donate it to Jassat so she can give it to a cancer survivor.
You can also donate money to CANSA.
Email her on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, and follow her on Twitter.