29 November 2016 – On 5 December the world will celebrate those who give their time and generosity of spirit to those in need. CANSA will be celebrating the many volunteers who are dedicated to making a positive difference to the lives of cancer survivors.
“Without our network of about 7 000 trained volunteers we would not be able to deliver holistic care and support required by cancer survivors and their families throughout South Africa,” says CANSA Chief Executive officer Elize Joubert.
International Volunteer Day places a spotlight on these selfless people and the care, patience and compassion they display for people who need it most.
“We cannot express just how much we value the contribution our volunteers make to CANSA,” says Joubert. “As a non-profit organisation, we rely heavily on generosity of others and our volunteers continue to step up to pay it forward.”
CANSA’s volunteer network comprises many people who have been affected by the disease in some way – either they are survivors themselves or know someone who is. Then there are those who simply put their hands up to make a difference.
Sheila Moolman (64), a volunteer for 14 years at the CANSA Durban Care Centre, says she was reluctant to become involved at first as she was not a cancer survivor and didn’t enjoy the limelight. “But for some reason I accepted the challenge of running a cancer support group which required me to stand up and address the members on a regular basis.
“I have witnessed courage, fortitude and serenity in so many who have faced this disease and formed so many wonderful friendships. It fulfills me to witness the interaction between survivors and the support and comfort that they give each other.”
Sharon Fransman responded to an advert in the local newspaper in 2012 calling for volunteers at CANSA Wellington. “I immediately enrolled for the volunteer course and I believe it’s the best decision I ever made,” she says. “Often cancer survivors are just looking for someone who is willing to listen. When you volunteer, you become one of the most important companions on their cancer journey.
CANSA provides its volunteers with training and ensures that they receive the support that they require. “They learn from us and we learn from them,” says Joubert. “More often than not, our relationships with our volunteers result in life-long friendships.”
If you would like to become a CANSA volunteer, you can sign up at your local CANSA Care Centre, or register online http://www.cansa.org.za/
(For more information, please contact Lucy Balona, Head: Marketing and Communication at CANSA at email [email protected]. Call 011 616 7662 or cell: 082 459 5230. You can visit www.cansa.org.za or call CANSA toll-free 0800 22 66 22 or email:[email protected].)