From the early days, CHOC’s development and growth has been influenced by our involvement, and partnership, with local and international organisations.
South African Childhood Cancer Study Group
The South African Children’s Cancer Study Group was established in 1987, with membership open to professionals involved in the study or practice of paediatric oncology. In addition to practicing paediatric oncologists, members include paediatric surgeons, radiation oncologists, ophthalmologists, neurosurgeons, pathologists, radiologists and dieticians.
The SACCSG aims to improve the treatment of children with cancer by:
- promoting a comprehensive approach to their care
- organising national trials of therapy
- promoting education and disseminating knowledge about paediatric cancer
- collecting and analysing data in the Children’s Cancer Registry
As the SACCSG’s most important partner in civil society, CHOC provides direct support to the paediatric oncology units and provides funding for SACCSG members to organise local meetings and attend international conferences, as well as funding the maintenance of the Children’s Cancer Registry. CHOC also runs an Awareness Campaign to disseminate the early warning signs of childhood cancer, which were drawn up by members of the SACCSG. Visit the website
CHOC is one of the 22 cancer NGOs that belong to the Cancer Alliance. With representation on the ministerial advisory committee, this alliance enables cancer organisations to collectively formulate and advocate on issues that can benefit those impacted by cancer, as well as the NGO industry.
The Cancer Alliance intends to achieve its aims through the publication of position statements and papers, leading to focussed advocacy and lobbying with relevant stakeholders in the health sector and government.
Adri Ludick, CHOC’s Programme Development Manager, currently serves on the executive committee of Cancer Alliance. Visit the website
Just Footprints Foundation
In collaboration with The Reach for a Dream Foundation, Cotlands, and iThemba Trust, CHOC established the Just Footprints Foundation in 2008.
Providing an outdoor experience for children with life-threatening illnesses, as well as families and siblings, thus far there have been over 38 camps attended by more than 2 000 children.
Children undergoing treatment miss out on school and social events, leaving them feeling isolated and often depressed. Attending a camp provides an opportunity for them to relax amongst other children facing the same situation. The imprint of this experience cannot be underestimated – for some children this is one of the most memorable experiences of their lives.
When CHOC funds camps for children with cancer a medical team as well as social workers and volunteers are on hand to provide assistance, where needed. Where possible, camps for siblings of diagnosed children and bereaved siblings are also held.
The foundation acquired 160 hectares in the Dinokeng Big 5 Game Reserve in Hammanskraal, outside Pretoria, with the aim of building a multi-purpose, wheelchair-friendly camp with medical facilities. This organisation is modelled on Hole in the Wall Camps, a worldwide programme initiated by the actor Paul Newman. The Camp Gift Chart will soon be launched, where individuals, corporates and foundations can sponsor one of the camp facilities, such as the medical unit or medical equipment.
Sponsoring children to go on camps is not a core programme at CHOC hence this optional programme depends on available finances. If you are interested in sponsoring a camp, please get in touch with your nearest region. Visit the website
Formed in 2006, The Giving Organisation (TGO) provides a fundraising platform for payroll and executive giving to benefit 10 NGOs including CHOC. Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Her Serene Highness, Princess Charlene of Monaco are patrons. TGO raises funds at no risk to the charities, on a commission basis. Visit the website
The International Connection
Exposure to the activities of childhood cancer parent groups around the world has brought many benefits. We have become aware of the achievements of other and have learned of many programmes, some of which we have adopted ourselves. We have also made a significant contribution, from raising awareness of the particular challenges of operating in a less developed country to sharing lessons we have learned along the way.
Since the establishment of Childhood Cancer International, formerly the Confederation of Childhood Cancer Parent Organisations, CHOC has been an active member. Through this connection, CHOC has had access to information and new developments in treatment and diagnosis, as well as being linked to a community that has grown to 171 other parent organisations from 88 countries.
Founding CHOC member Sadie Cutland served on the CCI Board until 2001, and when she stepped down Julian Cutland was a member until 2008. Then Kenneth Dollman was elected as the board member with responsibility for Africa and then served a term as board chair. He and Vice Chair Benson Pau strengthened the regional presence of CCI and established informal working relationships with the World Health Organisation. The next step will be to apply for formal status.
Dollman also travelled extensively in Africa to engage with people and help set up new parent organisations. At the most recent Africa Regional Conference, Dollman ensured that indigenous and traditional healers had a voice in the forum so they could support parent-led initiatives. Visit the website
In addition to its extensive health professional membership, the International Society of Paediatric Oncologists (SIOP) is affiliated with Childhood Cancer International and the two organisations meet annually.
Through belonging to CCI, CHOC has received invitations to present at the SIOP/CCI conferences. At the SIOP conference in Hong Kong in September 2013, together with Dr Marcela Zubieta from Chile, then CHOC Gauteng South Regional Manager Adri Ludick presented a workshop on hospital schools and schooling of children while on treatment. Then at the 2014 conference in Toronto, CHOC KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape regional managers Agie Govender and Debbie Kleinenberg did a poster presentation of CHOC Interactive Play.
SIOP 2015 in Cape Town
South Africa has won the right to hold the 47th annual scientific meeting of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) in Cape Town in October 2015. This is the first time the Congress will be held in a sub-Saharan country.
As local CCI member, CHOC will be hosting the parent stream at the conference. CHOC aims to raise R1 million in funding to host three events; namely the CCI Board dinner, the Parent’s Meet and Greet, and the CCI dinner, as well as putting funding towards scholarships and stipends to enable doctors, nurses and parents from Africa to attend. For sponsorship opportunities please contact firstname.lastname@example.org