Cancer fight gets $3,000 funding boost

Vodafone Samoa has donated $3,000 to the Samoa Cancer Society's Pinktober Initiative as part of its community support.

Vodafone Samoa Chief Executive Officer, Nofoasaefa Satish Sharma, said in a media release that the telecommunications company continues to invest in community-support projects and breast cancer awareness is a responsibility they are taking on.

"Every year in October, we stress the importance of early detection and are committed to continue raising the awareness, we turned our advertising pink in remembrance of those who have passed on, and to stand in solidarity with those who have been affected by this nasty disease one way or another," he said.

Under the firm’s corporate social responsibility umbrella, the C.E.O. encouraged his staff to support and used its advertising mediums such as its SMS Broadcasts, social media, radio talk back shows and print media to assist the S.C.S. raise awareness about early detection and the importance of regular screenings.

The Pinktober Initiative is part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a worldwide campaign observed annually in October, which seeks to highlight the importance of breast awareness, education and research associated with “Pinktober”. 

The S.C.S. Chief Executive Officer, Su'a John Ryan, stated that he cannot say enough about how important this partnership is.

"It’s even more special because it’s more than a partnership to all of us; it’s a friendship – the synergy of what we’re doing at Samoa Cancer Society – and what Vodafone does within our community is so important and it works well," he said.

"Because we have the same community focus; we’re trying to make the space that we live in just a little bit better and when we take this view in making the community better, we find these commonalities that are a blessing to us. 

“This community focus wouldn’t be possible for us without the help of Vodafone. That’s why I say it’s more than a partnership, it’s a friendship."

Vodafone is the official telecommunications partner and avid supporters of the Samoa Cancer Society since 2015. This year through its awareness and fundraising platforms Vodafone raised a total of $3,000 tala. 

Vodafone said in a company media release that it is proud to say that most of the funds were from Vodafone staff who gave whole heartedly, and every year go out of its way to pink out its department floors, dress in pink every Friday and donate. 

This year Vodafone configured its M-Tala platform to make it convenient for customers so Vodafone customers can donate from anywhere and at any time.

Su'a thanked Vodafone for the donation, saying: "it’s important for us as an NGO that’s always struggling to fulfill the mission that we have, hence every sene helps as it enables our team to go out and do what we do to help patients and the families of those affected."

In terms of the expansion of Samoa’s digital experience through digital track, Vodafone configured a Quiz Hunt game using QR code which enables customers to scan, read educational information about the importance of early detection and prevention methods, and answer questions via SMS to go into the draw to win one of three Samsung A10s handsets. Customers can find the QR Codes at every Vodafone Retail Stores, ANZ ATMs and inside ANZ plus many more. The more a customer texts in, the more their chances are of winning a brand new Samsung handset.

Nofoasaefa further stated that they wanted to try something new this year; to help with awareness and educating Vodafone customers on the importance of early detection.

He explained that their team has come up with a new way to engage the public by using QR Codes.

 "Customers will not only learn, but also for fun can go into the draw to win 1 of 3 Samsung A10s handsets," he said.

Vodafone Samoa’s QR Hunt will continue on until the end of November to help raise awareness for Movember – an annual initiative which takes place in November to help raise awareness on men’s prostate cancer. The QR Hunt Initiative is available only to Vodafone customers; whoever is on another network and would like to participate would need to uplift a Vodafone Sim from any Vodafone Retail Store. The lucky winners will be announced at the end of November.

Su'a further stated that this isn’t just for the month of October, this is an ongoing engagement whereby their team will continue to go on and do patient visits and support those with terminal cancer.

"And what you (Vodafone) provide enables us to do so much more. Thank you Vodafone for being a blessing to us and to those who will receive this helpful donation," he added.

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