In 2023, a group of 61 volunteers recruited over 5,000 stem cell donors to sign up to the DKMS Africa registry. In doing so, they have helped to push the number of new donors to 30,000 in 2023, up from 21,000 in 2022.
Cape Town, November 29, 2023 – In 2023, a group of 61 volunteers recruited over 5,000 stem cell donors to sign up to the DKMS Africa registry. In doing so, they have helped to push the number of new donors to 30,000 in 2023, up from 21,000 in 2022. This is crucial for individuals diagnosed with blood cancers, providing them with a higher chance of accessing a life-saving stem cell transplant.
Palesa Mokomele, Head of Community Engagement and Communications at DKMS Africa, explains that receiving a stem cell transplant from a matching donor is often these patients’ only hope for survival. “And, with more donors being recruited, a growing number of patients are now finding matches.”
Speaking in light of International Volunteer Day (IVD), she shares that from these results, it is evident that volunteers have the power to make a massive difference to the world in general and the fight against blood cancer in particular. “We applaud the efforts of the volunteers who have dedicated their time to carrying out registration drives throughout South Africa, inspiring positive change in their communities and beyond. With this year’s IVD theme of ‘The Power of Collective Action: If everyone did’, I can only imagine how much more we could achieve if more people answered the call to volunteer!”
Below, three volunteers share why they opted to join the non-profit organisation’s volunteer programme:
To join the volunteer programme, contact DKMS Africa on 0800 12 10 82 or via the website www.dkms-africa.org. Applicants will receive training from the organisation to ensure competency in the field. Volunteers will be responsible for creating awareness around the cause, educating the public, recruiting potential donors and swabbing the inside of their cheeks to help determine matches for patients.
“This year’s programme has been a massive success, but we need more people to join if we are to register even more donors and save more lives next year,” concludes Mokomele.