‘Grow a mo, save a bro’: Hongkongers sport moustaches for a good cause

All around the world, men started this week with a clean shave as the annual Movember campaign kicked off

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 November, 2016, 9:37pm
UPDATED : Friday, 04 November, 2016, 10:55pm

Hey chaps, Movember is here! Yes, it’s that time of year when you’ll see moustaches of all shapes, sizes and colours strutting the sidewalks – and all for a good cause.

For all of November, the Movember Foundation challenges men to grow out their whiskers to raise awareness for men’s health issues. The campaign, which has gained traction in more than 21 countries since launching 13 years ago, aims to educate the masses about cancer and depression in men.

“Grow a Mo, Save a Bro,” the foundation’s campaign slogan goes.

So far this year, the Movember Foundation has raised more than HK$59 million in donations worldwide, with Hong Kong ranking 11th among participating countries and territories with HK$355,657.

The foundation was first founded in 2003 in Melbourne by a group of 30 unrelated Aussies looking to spark a renaissance of the long-lost moustache.

According to the charity, the state of men’s health is in crisis. Men are experiencing worse longer-term health issues than women and die on average six years earlier.

Hong Kong men, it’s time to let the ‘mo’ grow for good causes

Data provided by the charity showed that prostate cancer rates were likely to double over the next 15 years, while testicular cancer rates had already doubled over the past five decades. Men are also the primary victims of depression and other mental health conditions. Every year, half a million men take their own life, equivalent to one suicide per minute.

By 2030, the foundation hopes to reduce the number of premature male deaths around the globe by 25 per cent.

But it’s not only men that can get involved. Anyone can contribute by either hosting an event or by simply getting active, and committing to a physical challenge during the month of November.

These grassroots campaigners have been dubbed as Mo Bros and Mo Sistas.

To date, the Movember Foundation has garnered more than 5 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas. There are currently 580 registered participants in Hong Kong, with the top fundraiser – a woman – already reaching HK$33,300.

The rules for entering into Movember are simple. In addition to starting the month with a fresh shave, participants are also not allowed to keep any beards or goatees with their moustaches as the charity requires each Mo Bro to conduct himself “like a true gentleman”.