It is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. And, we wanted to interview a charity who makes a difference to children with cancer globally. World Child Cancer is a charity which works to improve diagnosis and treatment for some of the world’s poorest children.
Briefly could you introduce your charity and your motivations behind setting it up?
Most childhood cancers are curable. We know this because survival rates in the UK and Europe regularly top 80%. But, for children in low and middle-income countries, the prognosis is bleak. With their chance of survival falling as low as 10%, every three minutes a young life is lost to childhood cancer.
Our vision is a world where every child with cancer has equal access to the best treatment and care, no matter where they were born.
Since 2007, World Child Cancer has reached 40,000 children and their families. Working with partners in 13 different countries, every day we are one step closer to closing the gap in childhood cancer care.
What were the challenges when your charity was first established and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenges were making and keeping connections in country and prioritising funding as there is so much need. We constantly review our funding opportunities and will prioritise according to where we think will get the best return.
Also, we have built relationships with our partners over the past decade and will continue working together to improve the quality of childhood cancer care in our country programmes. We strive to find solutions that are sustainable and relevant to the local healthcare systems.
What has been one of the most successful Givey fundraisers you have been involved with for your charity? Who benefitted from the donations raised?
Earlier this year, the pupils at Highgate Junior School took on a very original fundraising challenge – a scalathon! The young string players were sponsored to practice their dreaded scales, all in the name of a good cause. The event raised over £800, enough to pay for a round of life-saving chemotherapy for 16 children in Ghana.
How important is it to raise awareness of childhood cancers? What resources do you have available to educate the public about this topic?
Childhood cancer survival starts with an early diagnosis. Educating communities and healthcare professionals on the early warning signs and symptoms of childhood cancer can have a big impact on how quickly the child is able to get diagnosed and begin treatment. The earlier cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat.
For instance, in Ghana last year our Early Warning Signs campaign (training frontline health workers to recognise the symptoms of childhood cancer) led to a 28% increase in diagnosis. This was even despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Do you have any advice or learnings you would like to share with others in the small charity sector?
Constantly review what you’re doing and don’t be afraid to try new things. Keep networking and build connections across different sectors.
Above all, try and share what you’ve learned with others and learn from them in return. The Third Sector is a supportive community and there’s a lot to be gained from collective knowledge.
What are your own future aspirations for the charity?
Our ultimate goal is a world where every child with cancer has equal access to the best treatment and care and can realise their potential. By 2025 our ambition is to allow at least 16,000 children and their families every year access to improved childhood cancer services.
How can people support your charity?
Following us on Facebook or Instagram is a great place to start learning more about the cause and the incredible impact that your support can make for children and families around the world.
To find out more about World Child Cancer, their other social media accounts and how to donate follow this link:
World Child Cancer – Online Social Fundraising Donation Platform | Givey
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Written by Ella Dunthorne