The last hair collecting event took place in Sarajevo, on 11th November. This was the last one in a series of events which were part of the initiative launched by the Association Heart for Children with Cancer (Udruženje Srce za djecu oboljelu od raka). The initiative ran from February 2017, and since 1,600 people donated their hair.
The organization collected hair in order to make wigs for children with temporary or permanent hair loss due to cancer treatment. In case of temporary loss, wigs are returned after use to the association, so that it may forward them to other children with have a need for a wig. This initiative is especially important as wigs aren’t considered a medical aid which is covered by the health insurance in Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to the organization’s data, there is currently around 60 children in Bosnia and Herzegovina being receiving cancer treatment, which is available in Tuzla and Sarajevo.
This project also included a training course for wig makers, which was successfully completed by 12 participants. They managed to make 24 wigs. Wig maker Fuad Halilovic has himself faced hair loss due to leukemia treatment. He also explained why it is necessary for hair to be natural in order to make children’s wigs:
“Our children are receiving very strong treatments, and mustn’t put anything on their bodies which isn’t natural. This is also the reason why donated hair shouldn’t be treated in any way.”
This is the reason why hair of young girls is often suitable for making wigs, and a very large number of them answered the call to donate their locks:
“During almost 2 years of work, we are extremely proud as we have 1,600 donors, and over 70% aof donors were girls who wanted to donate their hair to sick children. So far 23 wigs have been made and given out. The association provides wigs free of charge, to any child which has a temporary or permanent hair loss. This is done in order to help them recover some self-confidence and fit in easier”, Fikret Kubar, director of Association Heart for Children said during the Sarajevo event.
In Sarajevo alone, 320 donated hair, and work is continuing on 20th November, when a fundraising event is planned. This will help fund some of the other activities of the association, like providing alternative accommodation for parents and children during treatment, as well as their fund for buying medicine and providing social help.