The Awards were presented for the company’s iThemba Crusade of Hope breast cancer education and awareness programme as well as its Speak Out against Domestic Violence initiative.

The Speak Out against Domestic Violence programme was awarded the Vision for Tomorrow Excellence Award by the DSA. Avon has stepped up the campaign to help end violence against women in the country since launching the initiative in 2008. It has raised over R5-million towards this cause and works consistently with its NGO partners nationally, to make a contribution in terms of donations to shelters, rape victim help kits as well as education and awareness campaigns.

In addition to monetary contributions, the company has partnered with local celebrities such as Avon ambassador Pabi Moloi, Pearl Modiadie and Kaos Matu as well as using social media platforms to reach almost twelve million people in 2014.

Avon works with People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), Transform Education About Rape and Sexual abuse (TEARS) Foundation, the Saatjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children, Yokhuselo Haven, the Women’s Hope Education And Training (WHEAT) Trust, Women Against Abuse Everyone against abuse (WARear) and Empowering People In Crisis (EPIC) Foundation to reach victims that need assistance as well as engage with perpetrators to modify their attitudes and behavior over time.

The second award presented to Avon was an Excellence Award for the iThemba Crusade of Hope breast cancer education and awareness programme. The programme was first launched in 2001 with the aim of spreading the message that early detection saves lives; in order to help reduce the number of deaths due to breast cancer. It is estimated that up to 30% of breast cancer-related deaths could have been avoided through early detection.

The campaign is activated through a number of platforms to reach the most number of women in the country including the iThemba Walkathon, media coverage, social media and donations to key NGO partners including the Breast Health Foundation and Look Good… Feel Better. In 2014, a record 21 500 people participated in the Walkathon with over 10 million South Africans reached through various media. The company has raised over R18-million towards this cause.

Speaking at the event, chairperson of the DSA, Richard Clark emphasised how important it was for the Direct Selling Industry to not only empower women through the earning opportunity but also through CSR programmes. The industry provides a sustainable income for over 1.2 million South Africans, 79% of whom are women, with some R4.3-million in earnings shared amongst them.

The cosmetics and personal care category accounts for the largest portion of the direct selling market at 34%, enabling Avon, the largest direct selling company in South Africa, to change the lives of millions of women.

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