Teenaged ‘Cheetah Girls’ Share how They’re Raising Breast Cancer Awareness in China
At FundRazr, we feel privileged to get to see good people in action. Imogen and Jemima are two ambitious and inspiring teenagers working to change the face of breast cancer in Hong Kong and China. Jemima was kind enough to take a moment to share some details about their campaign, how they went above and beyond to connect with people, and how other FundRazr users can reach their goals.
Hello! For those of you who don’t know me, which I am guessing you probably don’t, my name is Jemima, and my friend Imogen and I are the Cheetah Girls. I know – it sounds like an odd name, but I promise you we will come back to that in a minute. We come from Hong Kong, and are both fourteen years old and are year ten students at Chinese International School.
As part of our school curriculum, we are currently spending a year abroad in Hangzhou, China. Now, if you have been following certain schooling development websites, or have watched TED Talks by Sir Ken Robinson, you would know that schools and specialists are trying to move the teaching system from a teacher-student relationship, to more of a mentor-mentee one, meaning that everyone is learning together. Our school, being brave pioneers into the future of pedagogy, have created a program in which we have 18 days where we can create our own project and learn in our own style, with no teachers to actually teach you, only to guide you. The program name? Beyond.
For the past eighteen days, myself and Imogen have created a project in which the goal was to help raise awareness and money for Breast Cancer Research in Hong Kong, where we have grown up, and China, where we are currently being educated. We decided all proceeds would go to both the Tonglu No. 1 Hospital, and Hong Kong Breast Cancer fund.
After talking to the Bureau of Health and Sanitation in Tonglu and the women in the villages, I have come to understand the way that Breast Cancer, which is so widely known but seems so unimportant in Tonglu villages. Women either feel a violation of privacy, and therefore don’t want treatment, or don’t have the money needed to pay. It was clear that they knew what Breast Cancer was, but didn’t realise how much it affected your health and lifestyle, and hence were afraid to even talk about it. The Bureau is doing everything they can – organising checks, handing out flyers and posters, however because in these rural villages people didn’t have access to this information, many are and have been affected by Breast Cancer. The money that we raise for the Tonglu No. 1 hospital, will be handed out on a trip Imogen and I will be going on in November, where we will travel to some of the houses of the known women to have Breast Cancer, and help them financially with their treatment.
We are both extremely athletic people, and instantly knew that we wanted to do something related to sport. Running, ‘runs’ in our families. Our parents run, siblings run, family friends run, even our pets like to get out and run for a while. We decided that the most impactful way to raise awareness, and to be doing something we enjoy, would be to run. It was then a question of how far we were going to travel on our nervous feet. Anyone who knows me, will know that I am a dramatic. Someone gets cut? I get a bandaid, I have saved that person’s life. So when originally our idea was 1000km, we decided to cut down a little to 100km.
So what’s with the Cheetah Girls? Well, I would think that it would be simple to understand a little bit why now. Cheetahs are known for their athletic ability, especially in running. So it seemed fitting to take on the name of the so-called fastest animal alive. We also took this ‘fast’ trait into account and decided that it also suited the nature of our project. We only had eighteen days to try and make as big of a difference as we possibly could, and in order to do that, we would need to be quick thinking, speedy action, and hasty preparation. Plus, it sounds pretty cool.
In our era of living, and being a younger generation, we understand that social media is the key to spreading the word, and for raising attention. We have made a blog about our journey, a fundraising page using Fundrazr, and a Instagram, as well as sold our own t-shirts to our community.
First Steps – Getting Set Up and Building an Online Presence
The first thing we set up was our Instagram account (You can follow us @cheetahgirlscishz!). It’s easy to use, and has over 150 million monthly users, so you can grab the attention of people all over the world! The blog came next, which we have been using to document our journey and for our followers to be able to join team #cheetahgirlscishz, along with photos and GPS photos of where we went. We used Squarespace because it’s versatile and affordable.
We then designed and ordered the t-shirts we were going to sell in China, using breast cancer-related colours like pink and bold patterns to make a statement, which we then bought in bulk and sent order forms out to the public using our social media networks. T-shirts also make great perks to be added directly to a crowdfunding campaign, where donors from around the world can ‘order’ them.
Lastly, the most important step was setting up the fundraising account, which allowed people to donate to our cause from all around the world.
Fundrazr has been a fundamental of our journey, for without it, we wouldn’t have been able to get nearly the same amount of support we have been able to get. It has been quick, easy, and accessible. I have to admit, We’re not the best at computers or maths, however Fundrazr has made helpful hints along the way, is very clear, and the steps to setting it up are extremely simple. Because we want to support others in our community who are starting fundraising projects, we would like to share our 14-year-old-wisdom with you. We hope that it will help you set up a successful fundraising campaign of your own!
Setting Up Our FundRazr Account
Step one for us was making a Paypal account as we didn’t have one yet. Luckily it didn’t require a credit card, as being typical fourteen year olds, we don’t have one. The process was very simple and gave clear instruction on how to set your account up. We did have some road bumps due to our lack of financial vocabulary, but our parents helped us with this. If you are used to banking and financial terms, it’s super easy to understand, however if you are like us and have no knowledge of anything to do with credit, debit, or anything ‘it’, we would suggest getting a little help and looking up the terms you don’t know on Google, just so you understand everything clearly.
Next, we went on the FundRazr website and simply clicked ‘start a campaign.’ FundRazr is great because it gives your instructions for each necessary step. We described our cause, which allowed people to easily understand our campaign in literally thirty seconds. We also tried to make our title catchy so people would be interested and want to find out more! We put a lot of detail into our story because we knew that this would help us gain more donations and give people a better understanding of what we were doing and, more importantly, why we were doing it.
The third thing we did was put in our financial details to ensure the money’s going to the right place. A good thing to do is also to set a goal, so that people can be somewhat more motivated to hit that special number. You can change your goal depending on the amount of money you are receiving. The point of a goal is to give people a better understanding of what you need and if you are close to your goal, chances are they will donate more if you are closer to your goal!
Increasing Engagement and Picking Up Momentum
After a few simple steps our page was created. On your fundraising page, there is a bar at the top where your ‘coach’ can give you advice. This basically just sets challenges for you like ‘Insert a link’ or ‘Update your Followers!’ It’s good to do what they say, because it really helped us make a difference.
After following our coach’s advice, we uploaded a video we made talking in more detail about our project, mainly so the watcher could connect with the ‘real’ us. This was really effective, and boosted our donations. Then, every few days we would update our campaign, just so people have a good understanding of how we are getting along and our donors could see how they had helped us!
We strongly recommend using Fundrazr for any type of campaign, because it is so flexible and you can really make it your own. If you go to the main page, you can see the wide variety of projects, such as charity work, business ideas, personal medical needs, and so much more. I can wholeheartedly say that without it, our project wouldn’t have actually taken off the ground, and we are so thankful for everyone that helped us out at FundRazr.
After a lot of sweat, sore muscles, dirty running clothes and blisters, we have managed to raise ¥19,559, through FundRazr campaign and selling our t-shirts.
Thank you to everyone that has supported us along the way – the Cheetah Girls are not done yet! If you would like to donate, please click on our campaign below and support Breast Cancer Awareness! We hope that this has helped you a little, and that your projects flourish above and beyond your expectations.
Jemima and Imogen