afpop, Portugal’s largest Foreign Residents’ Association, is encouraging everyone to join its Movember campaign, which begins on November 1 and aims to highlight men’s health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer.
Michael Reeve, the CEO of afpop, has shed some light on what the campaign aims to achieve.
“It’s something I did as a bit of fun last year,” Michael tells us. “I woke up on November 1 and was about to have a shave and, for some reason, I decided to leave the top lip and see what I could grow before the end of the month. Any opportunity I got after that I just said, ‘it’s Movember mate’, and left it at that. Sadly, my own effort at growing a ‘Mo’ was pretty poor if I’m honest, and I’m not expecting this year’s effort to be any better, but the idea isn’t to grow the greatest ‘tache ever, it’s to raise awareness of the associated concerns. Perhaps having a rubbish ‘tache made that even easier because it was funny as well as serious.”
The Movember idea began in Australia a few years ago and has gradually grown in other countries too, with several now having their own Movember campaigns. In fact, the Moto Clube de Faro also has an awareness campaign which includes the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, which Michael is trying to align his own effort with.
“I think perhaps next year we might be able to do something with them. They haven’t said no to doing something with them for this year, but perhaps we’ll see if we can get something going and then approach them again in 2024,” said Michael.
The Movember campaign organised by afpop is open to all men who want to take part and who will grow a moustache starting on November 1. There’s no subscription needed, but, towards the end of the month, all who have joined the campaign will be invited to send a photo to the afpop ‘Whatsapp’ number (to be announced soon). Photos will be uploaded to the afpop Facebook page and also to the BLiP website for people to see how many are taking apart in the challenge.
“I hope that we can arrange a judging, either online or preferably at a gathering at the end of November, where the winner of ‘Tache of the Year’ will be declared,” Michael explained.
During the campaign, the CEO of afpop hopes to arrange one or two informal gatherings, where the issues around prostate cancer can be discussed, and specialists can give information about new advances in detection and treatments.
“It’s probably easier to talk about these things before you need to, rather than when you have to. It’s such a personal and intimate thing that most of us don’t even want to think about it, much less discuss it, and I know people who have had prostate cancer, and thankfully survived and are thriving, who would never have discussed the subject beforehand. Then when they do have to, it’s even more of a challenge. Just chatting about it without having to say you’re affected might be more positive and far less daunting,” Michael said.
“Even if you don’t want to grow a ‘tache, or already have a great one that you’re not willing to sacrifice, you can still attend any open days that are arranged; but to be clear, if you want to be considered for the ‘Tache of the Year, you have to be clean shaven on October 31,” he added.