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It’s a man’s world, especially this month: All About Movember
What is Movember?
The month of November is all about men’s mental and physical wellbeing. Common issues experienced by men include prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide.
What does the ‘M’ stand for?
The term ‘Movember’ was coined in 1999 by a group of young Australian men based in Adelaide. The ‘mo’ is a diminutive form of ‘moustache’ in the country, and the month of November, which is dedicated to the growing of moustaches throughout the month. The charity, founded in 2003, refers to men as “Mo Bros”, encouraging them to participate in the celebrations.
The purpose of Movember
The scope of this event is to increase early cancer screenings and treatments, as well as the general public to become aware of cancer within their families especially prostate and testicular, suicide amongst males, and men’s mental health, which is often overlooked.
Why the moustache?
The moustache symbol represents growing a moustache to commemorate the event.
This all started in 2003, where two men walked into a pub in Adelaide and discussed bringing back the trend of growing moustaches. It was not until 2004 in Melbourne, Australia, where a group of 4 lads encouraged 30 men to grow a moustache throughout the 30 days of November. This was done to raise awareness for prostate cancer and depression amongst men.
In 2005, about 500 people raised 40,000 Australian dollars in aid of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA), simply by growing moustaches. Little did they know that their movement would make headlines around the world and become a global phenomenon for years to come!
Movember after Australia
One year after the PCFA had received their largest donation at the time, Movember was officially given charity status in Australia. The same year, this occasion spread to New Zealand in collaboration with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of NZ.
2007 saw Movember crack America, Canada, the UK and Spain, and Ireland in 2008. The year 2009 was a special one for Movember USA, as it obtained charity status. Besides already having partnered with the Prostate Cancer Foundation, their second partner, LIVESTRONG (remember their rubber bracelets?) was added. The organisation helped fund a historic study about prostate cancer at the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Status, which proved that prostate cancer exists in over 25 different forms.
It only went up from 2010 – where Movember launched campaigns in South Africa, followed by the Czech Republic, Finland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Austria, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Hong Kong and Germany throughout the years (in chronological order).
The Butterfly Effect of Movember
Two years ago, it was announced that Movember would be the official delivery partner for the Rugby League World Cup for next year. Prior to this, no international sporting events had a mental health charter. Teen athletes as well as sports coaches and their families will participate in Mental Fitness workshops, entitled Breaking The Ice, and the charter will also commit to delivering a Mental Fitness campaign worldwide.
Today, there are nearly 6.6 million Mo Brothers and Mo Sisters (or women) from different countries, and 1250 projects about male health have been founded since 2003. Furthermore, Movember continues to fund such projects.
From its humble beginnings by two men to a global community, celebrities have also contributed towards the charity, including Justin Bieber, David Beckham, Leonardo di Caprio and even Lady Gaga!
How can I contribute?
- No Shave November – let your hair down (literally!) for the whole month of November.
- Donate to the movement right here — https://ex.movember.com/donate/details?memberId=77
- Take action – if you find yourself experiencing any symptoms of prostate or testicular cancer, or you are suffering from mental health issues, please consult a doctor or therapist
- Move – you can’t spell ‘Movember’ without ‘move’! You can walk or run 60km – the number 60 represents the 60 men that take their own lives around the world.
- Download the Movember App on the App Store or Google Play!
Focus on Fluency
- Wellbeing (noun) — the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.
- Prostate (noun) – a gland surrounding the neck of the bladder in male mammals and releasing a fluid component of semen.
- Testicular (adjective) – belonging or relating to the testicles, which are oval organs that produce sperm in men and other male mammals, behind the penis.
- Coined (verb, past tense) — invent (a new word or phrase).
- Diminutive (noun) — a shortened form of a name, typically used informally.
- Founded (verb, past participle) — establish or originate (an institution or organization).
- Scope (noun) — the extent of the area or subject matter that something deals with or to which it is relevant.
- Overlooked (verb, past participle) — ignore or disregard (something, especially a fault or offence).
- Two men walked into a pub (expression) – adapted from the joke expression “Two men walk into a bar…”
- Lads (noun, informal) — a boy or young man (often as a form of address). In British English this is slang for a group of men sharing recreational, working, or other interests.
- Make headlines (idiom) — to be featured on the headlines of news articles, as due to being particularly important, popular, fashionable amongst other things.
- Phenomenon (noun) — a fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen, especially one whose cause or explanation is in question.
- Collaboration (noun) — the situation of two or more people working together to create or achieve the same thing.
- Fund (noun) — an amount of money saved, collected, or provided for a particular purpose.
- Butterfly effect (metaphor) — the phenomenon whereby little insignificant events can lead to significant results over time.
- Charter (noun) — a formal statement of the rights of a country’s people, or of an organization or a particular social group, that is agreed by or demanded from a ruler or government.
- Workshop (noun) — a meeting of people to discuss and/or perform practical work in a subject or activity.
- Take action (idiom) — to do something: to act in order to get a particular result.
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