Emiratis, Jordanians, Serbians, Americans amongst many other volunteering
equines marching on with the purpose of boosting breast cancer awareness across the UAE
For immediate release
Sharjah, March 3, 2020
Braving the heat and the hard roads, a cavalry of volunteers mounted on horseback marched into the UAE’s northernmost emirate of Ras Al Khaimah on the sixth day of the 10th Pink Caravan Ride (PCR) in a bid to raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early screening and regular checkups.
On Monday, March 2, horseriders mapped 21kms starting at the HCT - RAK Women’s College towards Saqr Hospital, before making their way to the Manar Mall and concluding their trek at Al Qawasim Corniche at 4:30 pm.
Since its inaugural ride in 2011, PCR has relied on volunteers to take forward its message about the importance of screening and regular checkups to combat breast cancer. Leading the awareness drive of this mammoth annual pan-UAE trek is the pink brigade whose warm and friendly horseriders trot through each of the emirates, rallying up onlookers to visit PCR’s medical clinics for free checkups.
Attired in pink vests - a strong symbol of breast cancer awareness internationally, the riders make an eye-catching presence on the country’s roads and streets as they lead horses in matching halters and reins, attracting residents from all walks of life. Through their selfless devotion to a noble cause, the Pink Caravan Ride is today one of the major factors in the continued success of PCR, and a shining example of volunteerism.
10th edition of PCR attracted first-time horseriders from various nationalities
Emphasising the role of equestrians in PCR’s success, Majid Sultan Al Suwaidi, head of the Equine Committee, said: “The work carried out by the pink cavalry is extremely important. Their presence on the roads is what intrigues and drives the curiosity of scores of residents to know more about PCR, its objectives and mission. It is their magnanimous efforts that is bringing to fruition all the hard work of our entire team of volunteers in delivering the vital and key messages of the awareness campaign.”
Al Suwaidi noted that the 10th edition of PCR attracted first-time horseriders from various nationalities including Emiratis, Jordanians, Serbians, and Americans, amongst many others, in addition to artists and officials who volunteered their time and efforts to raise awareness of breast cancer detection and prevention. It was the previous riders on the pink trail who helped ease the new equestrians into their role with advice and practical tips as they saddled up for their first trek, he added.
Volunteering equines of Pink Caravan Ride to describe it as a ‘highly rewarding’ experience
For Asma Abdul Kareem, a 38-year-old Emirati equestrian, the warm welcome she has received on the streets of Ras Al Khaimah has been a moving and uplifting experience. “It was a joyous sight to see men, women and children cheer us on during our trek. The profound messaging of PCR has certainly struck a chord with the residents, and I am grateful to have contributed in a small way to this noble cause.”
“Once the public understands what PCR stands for, they become our partners and help us spread our message to a wider audience,” she said, calling on all members of the community to take the lead in volunteering for humanitarian causes that make a difference to their societies.
When Mikaela Allen first heard about PCR at a global women empowerment summit, the US citizen, a horseriding enthusiast since her teenage years in Ohio, was determined to sign up for the noteworthy cause.
“I learnt at the summit that wellness is a full circle of mind, body and spirit, and that when you serve others and raise their awareness to take care of themselves, you contribute to humanity in such a beautiful way,” said the first-time volunteer, who travelled all the way from the UAE capital to the northernmost emirate to keep up the promise she made to herself.
“Today, we managed to draw people’s attention to the goals of PCR. They were receptive of the information we provided; some were happy to have their doubts cleared and unwarranted fears dispelled. I hope this encourages them to visit PCR clinics to get their screenings – that would validate the work that we do as volunteers,” she added.
35-year-old Tamara Petrovic, who works as a designer in an advertisement agency, says her first experience with the Pink Caravan Ride has been “highly rewarding”.
“I have been trying to schedule my time over the past two years to be able to join the pink brigade, and I am lucky to be here today,” said the soon-to-be-wed Serbian. “The sight of so many people waving to us from balconies, streets and alleys was deeply moving. I am overwhelmed that our trek has raised the eyebrows of so many members of the community. Riding horses is certainly a great way to raise awareness about breast cancer, and to draw men and women in taking the first step towards early detection with the free screening facilities PCR provides.”
The Dubai resident hopes to ride again in the current annual ride and in the coming years.
PCR’s medical route on Monday featured clinics at Saqr hospital, RAK Mall, Shaam Hospital, Emirates Global Aluminium, and a mobile clinic stationed at Al Hamra Sailing Club.
A total of 8,184 free screenings have been carried out across the UAE as the ride concluded its 6th day, with 6,401 women and 1,783 men tested in clinics across the country.
Day 7 and 8
Today (Tuesday), PCR will be trekking in Umm Al Quwain covering a distance of 21 km commencing their trek at 11.20 am at the Industrial Area, after which they will head towards Umm Al Quwain Hospital and end their march at the Kite Beach at 3.40 pm.
Three clinics for women will offer free screening at Falaj Al Mualla Health Centre, Al Salama Health Centre, and Al Khazan Health Centre, while a clinic dedicated to men will operate from UAQ Preventive Medicine Department. Al Qasimiya University will have a clinic catering to both genders. In addition, a mobile clinic will be stationed at UAQ Hospital. All clinics in UAQ will offer their services from 10 am to 6 pm.
On Wednesday, the pink brigade will campaign in Ajman mapping 21kms. Their final trek in the northern emirates will kick off at 9 am at Ajman Corniche towards the Municipality and Planning Department. Their awareness journey will continue to City Life Al Khor Mall, and conclude at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.
A clinic will be set up at Musherif Health Centre for both men and women between 10 am – 6 pm, and a mobile clinic will offer its services for both genders from 2 pm – 10 pm at Ajman corniche.