x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Children shave heads for breast cancer cause

Eight students at Emirates International School shaved their heads to raise money for a breast cancer awareness programme.

DUBAI // Nikhil Punwaney does not mix his words when asked why he wanted his mates to shave his head at school.

"We are going bald today so that our mums don't go bald tomorrow," said Nikhil, 16.

He was one of eight pupils at Emirates International School - Jumeirah who had the cut yesterday to raise money for a breast cancer charity.

Hundreds of schoolmates crowded on to the basketball court for the event, which was organised by the after-school club Helping Hand and included a bake sale and dancing, to raise funds for the Burjuman Safe and Sound awareness campaign.

"I lost someone to breast cancer and it was with me since I was a little girl," said Wafa Junaid, 16, the president of Helping Hand, which raised Dh4,800.

Nikhil, from India, said the event held another message.

"There is a misconception about youth today and we as children would like to show that we want to give back to society and we have a lot of innovative ideas," said the vice president of Helping Hand.

Also there was Premi Mathews, the founder of the Protect your Mom Facebook campaign, who approached the school for support.

"It's doing a lot better than I expected," Mrs Mathews said. "It's students who can make the difference and this is just the beginning."

Another hair-cutting event, organised by Volunteer in Dubai, will be held tomorrow at JetSet Altitude Salon in Emirates Towers.

Donors will cut off 20 centimetres of their own hair between 11am and 9pm and donate it to the wig-making charity Hair of Hope.

Sinran Saraf, 13, is among those who will be donating hair.

"Many were shocked when I said I want to cut my hair because I always had long hair," Sinran said. "I still want to do it because my hair grows really fast and it will come back for me, but not for somebody else."

aalhaddad@thenational.ae