Walvis Bay STEM Fair Hosts Diabetes Fundraiser

Diabetes has recently become a major issue and many people do not understand the severity of it, especially in children.

Therefore the Walvis Bay Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Fair, under the leadership of Anastacia de Klerk, has started a Diabetic Awareness campaign called the Diabetes Project. The campaign aimed at helping children in Walvis Bay who do not have medical aid so that they can have access to the proper medical treatment. Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented, and there is no real way to predict who will get it. Once a person has Type 1 diabetes, it does not go away and requires lifelong treatment. Kids and teens with Type 1 diabetes depend on daily insulin injections or an insulin pump to control their blood glucose levels and this can be very expensive.
De Klerk, who is a diabetic herself, said that medical treatment as well as the medication and management of this chronic disease can be a very expensive thing. ‘Therefore we would just like to extend a helping hand to children whose parents cannot afford the medical costs involved with managing this disease. In future we would also like to educate principals and teachers at the various schools about type 1 diabetes and also how to help children with type 1 diabetes in emergency situations. We have sent out surveys to all the schools in Walvis Bay to make sure how many school- going learners are affected by this disease as well as how many schools need to be educated about it. We would also like to start to raise awareness in Walvis Bay about type 1 and 2 diabetes.’
The Diabetes Project committee consisted of teachers from various schools and parents within the Walvis Bay community and the following events were organised in order to raise funds for these children:

Denim for Diabetes Civvies Day on Friday, 9 November

School learners and teachers were encouraged to wear ‘Denim for Diabetes’ for a contribution of N$5 per learner and N$10 per teacher which was donated towards the campaign. The following schools took part: Flamingo Primary School, Kuisebmond Primary School, Duinesig Combined School, Flamingo Secondary School and Hokey Pokey Kindergarten.
Gebra Flowers Sale on Friday, 16 November the STEM
A Gebra Flower and key holders with the symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children as well as a pamphlet containing information about type 1 and 2 diabetes, were sold for N$40 to different companies, institutions and individuals in Walvis Bay. Welwitschia hospital bought the most flowers and the following institutions also supported the initiative: First National Bank, Standard Bank, Bank Windhoek, Anna – Mart Physio, Hands on health – Dr Kelly Harris, Walvis Bay Library, Namib Marine Services, Yvette Stemmet, Carmen Forbes, Claudia Ramos, Various members of the public as well as various schools.
The fundraising was sponsored by CNK Dental Practice, Flower Box, Shalom Flowers and SDP Groupe.
There are still key holders for sale for N$20 each. If there are any individuals or institutions who would like to support this cause by buying a key holder or who would like to make a donation they can contact Ms de Klerk at 081 352 7954 or wbstem.fair@ gmail.com

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