Journey of Hope is a Botswana based charity, which aims to educate about breast cancer and promote early detection. These volunteers are nicknamed ‘The Pink Ladies’ because of the annual journey they undertake each year in a pink vehicle flanked by pink scooters. The October entourage makes quite an entrance to the small villages and towns throughout Botswana, as they spread the message and give free examinations and referrals when necessary. A team of trained nurses, doctors and medics accompany the volunteers.

The Pink Ladies outride to Mashatu

“Although the big journey only happens once a year, they also do “outrides” on request throughout the rest of the year.”

Jane Le Roux, employed at Mashatu Game Reserve for 31 years who is a breast cancer survivor, realized after her diagnosis, that for the staff working out in the beautiful, but remote area of Mashatu and the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, access to doctors and regular testing is not always accessible. She made contact with Onica Lekuntwane, the Journey of Hope coordinator and invited them to come visit Mashatu.

The Pink Ladies outride to Mashatu

The Pink Ladies outride to Mashatu

One of the big messages they hope to promote, is regular testing and early detection. Presentations about the importance and techniques of self-examination were given and these were well attended by both the woman and men that keep Mashatu running on a daily basis. Over a period of two days, 96 ladies from Mashatu Game Reserve were screened.

The Pink Ladies outride to Mashatu

From all the staff at Mashatu Game Reserve we are truly grateful to these ladies for giving their time freely and coming all this way out to our neck of the woods to educate and test us.

Text and Images by Janet Kleyn.

Post courtesy of Mashatu Game Reserve

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