Movember: The story behind 'No-Shave November'

No-Shave November events have raised over 3.5 million dollars in funds. [iStockphoto]

On social media, men are expected to post pictures of their beards throughout the month using the hashtag #noshavenovember to promote the event. In addition, men are encouraged to let their beards grow out wild and bigger so that when asked about their new facial hair, they would be expected to explain why they are not shaving - spreading cancer awareness.

However, the idea of using facial hair to create awareness started in 2003 when two men, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, met up for a drink in Melbourne, Australia.

They recruited 30 other men who agreed to take up the challenge by growing out their beards and coining the term 'Movember'.

Movember combines the words "moustache" - an Australian slang that started the whole thing - and "November."

There was no immediate intent to raise money for charities when the initiative started, but three years down the line, in 2006, the movement received official charity status from Australia, raising more than $8 million (Sh972 million).

In 2013, Movember was awarded the Social Force of the Year award from GQ Australia magazine. And in 2017, it received a ranking of 49 out of the top 500 non-governmental organisations worldwide.

Since then, the movement continued to grow, and by 2017, it had gained over five million participants from 21 countries who participated and donated toward the cause.