On the 7th December 2018, Botswana Life Insurance Limited (Botswana Life) handed over funds raised from the 2018 Classic Run to Cancer Association of Botswana and Diabetes Botswana, respectively. A total of P53,675.88 was handed over, with each charity organisation receiving P26,837.94.
Speaking at the handover, Botswana Life CEO, Ronald Samuels, said: “At Botswana Life, we understand the importance of transforming the lives of people through compassion and giving back to the community. This is how we show our accountability as a corporate citizen. Our driving philosophy is our desire to give Batswana the opportunity to live with dignity, because we care. Indeed, our cultural principle is that, as a people, we need to work together and collaborate to change each other’s lives for the better.”
Botswana Life also recognised key partners who helped make the 2018 Classic Run a success, thus enabling such funds to be raised. These included: BancABC, Gaborone Striders, Run Wid It, the BIHL Group Runners Club, and vendors on the day Nando’s, Just Ginger and Divine Morula. Samuels further thanked sponsors Gabz FM, Botswana Gazette, Mobi Sparty, The Dialogue Group, Xco Group, The Grand Palm, Master Print, New Capital Cinemas, and the BIHL Group. Additional sponsors included Live Pure, Jack’s Gym, Cresta Hotels, Ba Isago University, Nashua, Reeca Travel, Evolutionary Branding, Sunrise Travel & Tours, Cally Clothing. “Last but not least, the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA), for helping us make our silver jubilee a success,” Samuels noted.
The Classic Run is an annual running platform and a hallmark event for professionals and amateurs alike. The running event speaks to Botswana Life’s efforts in helping Batswana live an active lifestyle. Thus, it was only befitting that proceeds from a health-focused platform go towards working to alleviate the prevalence of non-communicable diseases that affect Batswana as follows:
Breast Cancer - the most common cancer that affects women worldwide, with approximately two thirds of breast cancer deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. According Journal of Global Oncology, in Botswana, breast cancer represents 18% of all cancers diagnosed, and 12.5% of cancer associated deaths among women.
Diabetes - According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) African region, Botswana is one of the 32 countries affected by diabetes. Statistics show that there were 52,000 cases of diabetes in Botswana in the year 2017, with the prevalence of diabetes in adults being 3.8% of the total population.
While giving her appreciation remarks, Cancer Association of Botswana Executive Board Director Boitumelo Molefhe-Ndebele appreciated Botswana Life for taking a keen interest in donating to the Cancer Association stating that there is so much they would like to do soon to aid cancer patients in Botswana and this donation will go a long way. Furthermore, Molefhe- Ndebele also emphasised that there are three prevalent cancer types being Prostate, Cervical as well as skin cancer. She stressed the importance of doing routine cancer checks as well as taking care of ones skin by applying sun screen when exposure to the sun is expected.
Diabetes Association of Botswana Chairman Dr. Dipesalema Joel highlighted that one of the main causes of diabetes is an unhealthy lifestyle and expressed his appreciation to Botswana Life for not only donating towards their association but also hosting an event such as the Classic Run that encouraged people to exercise as well. Dr. Joel shared that failure to eat right and exercise would not only make one prone to diabetes but that this is also an open door to one contracting cancer and other non-communicable diseases.