Rabat - Kenza Mandour, a 19-year-old Moroccan social activist from Casablanca, has devoted herself to lessening the heartache experienced by children with cancer. Because many of them experience hair loss during the course of their cancer treatment, she particularly wants them to learn that hair is merely decoration.
Rabat – Kenza Mandour, a 19-year-old Moroccan social activist from Casablanca, has devoted herself to lessening the heartache experienced by children with cancer. Because many of them experience hair loss during the course of their cancer treatment, she particularly wants them to learn that hair is merely decoration.
In an exclusive interview with Morocco World News, the young humanitarian described her life and the beginning of her unique journey, which started at the age of eight when she attended summer camp. “I practically started working for community services at the age of 14. I disliked my monotonous daily routine, so I decided to work for social services and devote my time to visiting young cancer patients,” Mandour explained.
This was a life-changing event for the budding activist. Her work in social services quickly became an integral part of her life. She believes that community services filled a gap in her life, giving her a feeling of family. “The message I hope to share through my activities is one of a Morocco with no more needy people,” she said. “We are all brothers and sisters; we ought to fight together, help each other and never forget the pain that other people experience.”
Mandour went on to describe the difficulties she experienced during one part of her journey. “I will never forget the time that I decided to cut my hair in order to stand in solidarity with cancer patients. There were so many obstacles to implementing the activity. We originally intended to do it at the hospital in front of the patients in order to interact with them and let them know that we are on their side, but the hospital would not give us permission.”
The worst part for Mandour, however, was the “deeply offensive reaction of a social activist at the hospital who diminished the importance of the activity. She alleged that I was looking for fame. The kids do not need my sympathy, she said; they need only money.”
Money, continued Mandour, is actually one of the main obstacles encountered by her activist group. “Shwiya Men We9tek” (or, in English, “A Bit of Your Time”) is an association founded on February 2015, by a group of young people who share a passion for aiding others and working sincerely in the social services arena. They met by chance, but all hold common principles and a strong desire to work for the benefit of the country. “I used to move from one association to another until I found serious people with common beliefs and aims. Our first activity bore the theme “My Health Is Not My Hair.”
I cut my hair to stand in solidarity with cancer patients in order to lessen the pain of their illness and to express the idea that hair is merely an accessory. Our point is that a woman’s beauty does not depend upon her hair, but rather arises from her personality and her soul.”
Currently, Kenza studies logistics at the Institut Spécialisé D’aéronautique et de La Logistique Aéroportuaire in Casablanca. She has many dreams that she hopes to achieve. “Nowadays, I am trying to increase the number of people who agree to donate their organs after death. The issue of organ donation is crucial, but most Moroccans ignore it,” she concluded.
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