Protect Your Mom (PYM) campaign is a campaign to create awareness about breast cancer run by children as young as 7 . Born in the UAE on May 25th 2011, the campaign has involved over 50000 students and the founder Premi Mathew was chosen as one of the top 100 women achievers in India and invited by the President of India, and one in hundred by The Hundred org,( https://www.theonehundred.org/)Boston, USA.
Awareness about breast cancer is low in the eastern world where people strongly believe in fate. Most ladies ignore the early signs till cancer spreads and becomes fatal. So PYM took an unusual route- through children. It makes kids as young as 7 “pester ”their moms to check for lumps and early signs of breast cancer. Women are usually too busy to worry about their health. But if their children pester them, they are likely to do it .Kids thus grow up to be more informed adults and might reach their moms more effectively than doctors and commercial sources at zero cost saving thousands of lives.
PYM creates awareness through specially designed dances, songs, skits etc the language of youth .The website has a unique collection which can be replicated anywhere to create awareness in a more interesting way. PYM page also features stories of actual survivors to inspire patients and has encouraged students to visit hospital and directly pay the bills of cancer patients thereby creating awareness and a more caring generation.
Perhaps the biggest achievement of PYM is that they were the first to create awareness about hair donation in UAE and today hair donation is a major movement in both UAE and India Their sister campaign Hair for hope India has inspired over 4000 donors in India and UAE.
Innovation and Activities
Protect your mom campaign was started by Premi Mathew an MBA with over 17 years teaching experience to make the students pester their moms to check for lumps and early signs of breast cancer. The campaign targets students for three reasons.1.They grow up to be more informed adults 2. Mothers are unlikely to screen out kids unlike doctors and official sources. 3. Students can be reached through social media at zero cost.
- The only campaign which truly educates even 8 year olds by encouraging them to do a lot of research.
- Zero cost ,zero staffed campaign run by volunteers connected via facebook
- Creates awareness through music, dance and art -the language of the youth.
- Boys have also gone bald in three separate instances (symbolic since chemo patients lose hair) while girls donated hair to our sister campaign Hair for hope India.
- Builds leadership and organizational skills by assisting students to organize events to create awareness
- Business /Marketing students could also test their skills while saving lives.
- Already has a strong presence in India and held four pink walkathons in 2011 ,2012 and 2014 with over 1000 students hitting all headlines in Kerala.
- The founder is one of the top 100 women achievers in India and invited by the President of India,
- Founder is one of the top 100 Indian women in the Middle east and Africa
- Founder is one in hundred by The Hundred org,( https://www.theonehundred.org/)Boston, USA.
- Involved over 50000 students in school wide programs without sponsors.
- Has a unique collection of dances, songs, speeches,skits etc to create awareness. Check out the youtube link at www.protectyourmom.asia
- Converted into a case study on “pester power” in social marketing in association with University of Wollongong and will be published in Marketing Journal ,a top European Journal.
- Created awareness about self exams among millions through the page and events which were widely covered by all the leading papers in Dubai .
- In 2015 students as young as 8 held events in Kashmir, Bihar, Kollam,Trivandrum, Mangalore, Bangalore and Udupi in India.
- PYM hit all headlines in Dubai when 8 boys went bald to promote the cause in 2011. Subsequently it was covered by Gulf News (5), Khaleej Times(7), Panorama, Gulf Today (2), Zee , One TV, City 7 TV(2), Emirates Woman (2) International India (2) etc .
- It was also covered by all media in Kochi when they held 3 pink walkathons in association with SCMS in 2011 and Federal Bank in 2012. Over 1000 students participated in the walkathons.
THE FOUNDER ON DUBAI ONE
Website www.protectyourmom.asia, page, and campaign is managed by the founder at zero cost with the help of volunteers.
Students anywhere in the world could view the videos on the website and organize similar events and create awareness. The campaign has already held 2 pink walkathons in India leveraging the contacts with colleges and sponsors. Complete guidance is provided free of cost for organizing such events. Volunteers could also assist with their skills from anywhere in the world. Sample events can be viewed at http://mathewkj.wix.com/protect-your-mom#!our-events!
Educating youth in a powerful way
- While creating entries students would have to do a lot of research thereby learning a lot.
- While getting their friends to like their entry, they will be creating awareness. One poster was liked by 888 people, thereby spreading awareness. The contest would have made thousands aware of lumps at zero cost.
- Students are likely to screen out doctors and official messaged but not posters, dances and songs from friends
- Friends are more powerful than official sources. Word of mouth is more powerful than advertisements
- Mothers are more likely to listen to their children
Press reports by all leading papers in Dubai and One TV,Zee TV, City 7 News at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.191146644350347.43733.101023293362683&type=1