Raising awareness of the problems affecting men’s health through a series of initiatives worldwide and raising funds to finance health projects on a global scale. This is the essence of Movember, the movement named after the meeting of moustache, the French word for moustache, and November, the month dedicated to promoting information on the importance of prevention with regard to three of the main problems affecting men’s health: post and testicular cancer, mental health and suicide.
“A men’s health movement doesn’t happen overnight. And it doesn’t happen alone. Together, we’ve challenged the status quo, shaken up men’s health research, and funded over 1,320 health projects globally. And we’re not slowing down any time soon. This manifesto on Movember’s website is enough to understand its growing impact over the past two decades, during which more than 6 million people have joined the cause.
People who join the movement run by the Movember Foundation are referred to as Mo Bro (there are also Mo-Sisters and Non-Binary Mo). Their hallmark is to shave off their moustaches to grow them back and raise money while at the same time spreading information and awareness about diseases that affect humans. The group’s motto is as simple as it is enlightening: ‘change the face of men’s health‘. The aim is to expand the movement with the participation of others and to support research to improve the effectiveness of treatments and reduce the number of deaths, as well as to advocate an annual check-up and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
An app that connects the Mo-Bros movement
Beyond the numerous initiatives organised in various countries, ranging from North America to Australia, passing through many European countries, Taiwan, El Salvador and South Africa, as a testament to how popular the movement is, which also counts on a global campaign ‘The Mo is calling‘, to delve deeper into the topic I downloaded the Movember app with the unmistakable white moustache logo on a black background on my iPhone 15 Pro. Although there was no Italy in the list of available European countries to indicate residence (so the choice was generic Europe), the mobile app allows you to create your own Mo Space to store the actions you intend to take in support of the cause. This ties in with the possibility of sending a direct donation or calling on friends to support Movember.
Those who choose to support one or more initiatives, for example, running or walking 60 km during the month of November (60 because each kilometre represents each of the 60 male deaths by suicide that occur every hour around the world), can upload the various stages of the operation to their Mo Space, which is a way to get others involved and find new members and donations.
Another useful section is Feed, where each movement member can specify the objective of their fundraising and the recipients of the same. In the same section, personal posts and those of the team one joins are collected. The third section of the app is Camera, which allows you to photograph significant places and moments of your journey; then there is Team, which, as the name suggests, allows you to get in touch with an already active team or to form a new one. The last section is Toolbox, where a series of options for sharing Mo Space, GIFs, fundraising targets and pictures decorated with effects and lots of moustaches are grouped together.
Then there is also the menu where you can find detailed information on the history of Movember, the challenges to be overcome and the Leaderboards section, where you can find out who has donated and how much (there is no minimum or maximum amount), filtering the results according to their place of origin. Thus, we discover the story of Dr Sanjeev Bandi, who, at the time I am writing this article, leads the leaderboards with $38,320 raised. This comes as no surprise to those who know the Indian urologist who specialises in Ireland and Australia, as he is a Mo Bro in his 15th consecutive campaign, voted the highest individual fundraiser in Australia from 2015 to 2021. A member to take inspiration from and follow to improve men’s lives by fighting the leading causes of death.