By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Facial hair is sprouting again this season as The British School, Rio de Janeiro launches its 2013 Movember campaign. This year the mustaches will be groomed all month as school supports children with cleft lip and palate through the Operação Sorriso (Operation Smile) organization.
Last year, The British School managed to raise R$5,290.30 during Movember, and is aiming for even more during this year’s campaign. “The target for 2013 is to raise as much as possible and to develop a deeper awareness in our staff and children,” the school’s Head of Upper Primary, Simon Lee, explained.
Movember is also a way to raise awareness about health problems and teach the students to care for and help others. “The campaign will be promoted in assemblies inside the school and there will be a ‘dress up’ day on Friday 29th November, when the children can come to school dressed as a famous person known for their mustache.”
“They should research the person themselves and be as creative as they like, but their costume must involve a mustache!” Mr. Lee continued.
The initiative began in Australia as a way to raise awareness for men’s health issues, and in particular, prostate cancer. It has since spread to become a worldwide phenomenon: in 2012, more than one million people around the world took part in the official Movember campaign, raising £92 million (around US$147 million) for good causes.
The British School chose to support Operação Sorriso, an organization that supports children with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate, and offers medical support and surgery so that they don’t feel excluded as well as being able to eat or drink normally.
“Movember was originally set up to raise funds for men’s health charities, to support organizations working with testicular and prostate cancers, for example. Given the age range of the children in our school (2-17 year-olds), we decided to choose a charity that they can relate to more easily,” Simon Lee told The Rio Times.
“We still make reference to the men’s-health charity roots of Movember, but giving money to a specific children’s charity is more concrete and relevant for the age group of our students,” he continued.
The British School, Rio de Janeiro is already known for its work with other charitable projects, such as Casa Jimmy, a home for street orphans and teenage mothers and Costura e Lactário Pro-infãncia (CELP), a social project in the nearby Santa Marta community.
In 2012, the school set up their own charity, The British School Charity, to be able to support more projects through the separate fund. The school, actively encourages its students to work with their surroundings and the neighborhoods they live in through these charitable projects.
* This is a paid Advertorial for The British School, Rio de Janeiro.