Karel Dampies. A Wellington resident and Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) volunteer is bringing cancer education to schools through awareness campaigns.
Karel Dampies. A Wellington resident and Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) volunteer is bringing cancer education to schools through awareness campaigns.

Cansa volunteer equips learners with information on healthy living to prevent cancers

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Nov 8, 2021

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Cape Town - A Wellington resident and Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) volunteer is bringing cancer education to schools through awareness campaigns.

Karel Dampies, 59, held a 3-day information session with learners from Ebenezer Primary School in Paarl from November 1-3.

Last year, Karel started the non-governmental organisation “Angels of Hope”, assisted by around 15 volunteers from the community.

“I am a full-time worker and start joining Cansa as a volunteer in 2000. I have since achieved various nominations at Cansa for creating awareness among the youth,” said Dampies.

“I give them the information and share tips for healthy eating and healthy living, and to have regular testing of yourself. The objective was preventing cancer and to be better informed,” said Dampies.

Dampies has been serving the community for over 30 years, sometimes assisted by generous sponsors and donations.

On why he had chosen to become a Cansa ambassador, Dampies said: “They also serve some of my family who died of cancer and that’s why I stand as an ambassador.”

Cansa social worker in the Boland and Overberg region, Naomi Philander said the association’s focus is on research, education and providing support.

“Our awareness programmes at schools take place through the year. We go out to crèches to educate children from a young age about a healthy lifestyle. During May, we focus on ‘No Tobacco’ where we reach out to learners from Grade 4 and focus on the warning signs of tobacco. September was Childhood Cancer Awareness month and we focused awareness on the warning signs of childhood cancer,” said Philander.

Unfortunately, visits have dropped due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We focus more on the warning signs and how to prevent cancer and to stay healthy by living a healthy lifestyle,” said Philander.

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