HOW IT ALL CAME ABOUT
In 2012 the non-profit company ‘Pink Trees for Pauline’ was founded and one woman’s dream became a larger-than-life project which astounds every day.
Carol-Ann van Jaarsveldt took the legacy of her mother and grandmother and turned it into an epic tale of hope, encouragement and belonging. Carol-Ann lost her mother and her grandmother, both named Pauline, to cancer. She acted on her dream to communicate the legacy of these two women, who both played significant roles in her life, and made it a reality in her hometown Graaff-Reinet. The ‘Pink Trees for Pauline’ initiative was then born, as each of us knows or is connected to, our own “Pauline”. To raise cancer awareness all the trees along the roads in Graaff-Reinet were wrapped in pink material.
Then in 2012 Carol-ann van Jaarsveld, together with Adri van Nieuwenhuizen – a breast cancer survivor and Dr Pam Kerr, an Educational Psychologist – officially founded the organisation “Pink Trees for Pauline”. The vision Carol-ann once had is now the driving force of many people who are wrapping South Africa and Namibia in pink to signify new life during and after cancer.
To us, pink is an expression of new life and through this project, new life becomes a possibility. What makes this initiative even more unique is that it is the first time in South Africa that various registered cancer related organisations are getting involved on such an enormous scale. Pink Trees for Pauline is also the first cancer fundraising and awareness initiative where a number of cancer organisations benefit from the funds raised.
WRAPPED IN COLOUR, UNITED IN HOPE
The aim of Pink Trees for Pauline is to raise funds in order to assist people affected by cancer with their right to access to cancer treatment. The project was developed in such a way that sustainability in as many towns / communities as possible is guaranteed. It is because of the project’s sustainability that collaboration with South Africa’s iconic cancer organisation, CANSA, was a great step into the future.
Pink Trees for Pauline has established itself as a major role player amongst cancer organisations within three years of its inception. The following factors differentiate Pink Trees for Pauline from all other cancer organisations:
- For the first time in South Africa various registered cancer organisations work together to raise funds for their specific communities under the auspices of Pink Trees for Pauline.
- Funds raised in a town MUST be allocated to the cancer community within that town. This means that the impact of the project is immediate and visible.
- The appointed committee of each town sees to it that cancer patients and families affected by cancer benefit from the funds raised i.e. access to treatment; food parcels; prosthesis; toys for children affected by cancer; transport etc.
- The only registered cancer organisation in South Africa that focuses purely on fund raising that was granted membership by Cancer Alliance.
Members of the public and businesses alike are invited to purchase sections of pink fabric, which are used to wrap the trees that line their streets and public areas. The effect is nothing short of breathtaking and raises both awareness and funds in order to improve the lives of those living with this malevolent disease.
HOW IT WORKS
Participants take to the streets, wrapping the trees outside their homes, offices and public spaces with pink fabric. The attention is focused on cancer and cancer awareness in a visually stimulating way.
The more people that get involved, the greater the impact. For this reason, we encourage group and community involvement. As they say, “many hands make light work”.
Material to wrap your trees can be bought for a minimum donation of R20 per meter from your local Pink Trees for Pauline representative. Businesses or individuals also have the option of sponsoring material to be used in less privileged areas as well as public spaces in order to make sure that entire communities can be involved – not just those with the means.
In 2014 the project was done in 101 towns with the population of an estimated 3 720 342 of which more than 75% are disadvantaged. The biggest reward of Pink Trees for Pauline is knowing that funds raised in towns are allocated to the cancer communities of those specific towns.
Of all funds raised, 80% will be used in aid of improving the quality of life of those living with cancer within the participating towns. To this end, the funds will used in the following way:
- Accommodation during cancer treatment
- Home nursing
- Feeding schemes for cancer affected patients
- Supplying of wigs or prosthesis or wheelchairs
- Playpens or toys for children in hospitals
- Transport needs.
Pink Trees for Pauline strongly believe in empowering communities and contributing to a circular economy. The material used to wrap trees is taken down at the end of the project and utilized in various practical ways i.e. the donated material is used by charities to create products to sell and raise funds. Communities work together on these projects. Opportunities are created and skills are developed, and products such as hats, hand bags and place mats are woven and sold to raise funds.
We are proud of our drive to REUSE, REDUCE AND RECYCLE!