Growing into a sector leader: 2009 – the present
As a mark of how established our brand has become, in 2010 CHOC was voted the 7th most trusted and admired NGO in the Ask Afrika Trust Barometer Awards.
In 2011 our Awareness Programme was launched, which is run by a qualified nurse, Sr Silvia Craukamp. By the end of 2014 close on 5 000 healthcare workers, traditional healers and community members had been trained in the early warning signs in Gauteng and neighbouring provinces. The programme is also run in other regions.
With the opening of two new CHOC houses – a second one in East London and one in Pietermaritzburg as well as a CHOC Lodge in Port Elizabeth – all in late 2013 – we now have 13 accommodation facilities. Our psychosocial team now numbers eight – a manager, four social workers and three auxiliary social workers with the most recent placement of a social worker in the Dora Nginza Hospital in early 2015.
In October 2013 The Cows won the Innovative Fundraising Campaign in recognition of the participation of their highly-visible herd of around 400 Cows in the 94.7 Momentum Cycle Tour the previous year, which raised R3.35 million. This was the inaugural South African Institute of Fundraising Awards. Since then this FUNdraising arm of CHOC has grown to a herd of over 400 and by the end of the 2013/2014 financial year, had raised over R17 million rand for CHOC.
As with many organisations that have a head office and regional offices, there have been different views regarding the degree of control between these different parts of the organisation. The primary role of the regions is the delivery of programmes and services, and developing relationships with staff at the treatment centres. In addition, they have the major role in building visibility and support in their regions. At a national level, the functions are more related to policies, advocacy, governance, and support of the regions to achieve their objectives. Over the past years the relative roles have been resolved and we have strong, imaginative people both in the centre and in the divisions.
At the end of 2014, it was decided to change our divisions to regions and new boundaries of each region were determined and a programme office was opened in Upington. The post of Programme Development Manager was created to identify and develop new programmes whilst improving our monitoring and evaluation. The Business Development Unit has also been expanded to enhance capacity and now consists of a Fundraising Manager, Donor Development Manager, Communications Manager, Events and Campaigns Coordinator and a BDU assistant.
Into the future
We have built a reputation through successfully delivering valuable services to a niche group of children and their families. The preservation and enhancement of our credibility with the public and donors is paramount to our long-term survival, and our ability continuing providing these valuable services.
Whilst our number one priority will remain direct service to children and their families, as the largest organisation involved in childhood cancer, and a representative of parents and survivors, we intend to strengthen our role in:
- advocacy for the cause in South Africa;
- highlighting the needs and mobilising resources for the benefit of children with cancer and the sector; and
- expanding our Awareness Campaign to enhance early detection.
We are the SACCSG’s primary civil society partner and a member of Cancer Alliance and Childhood Cancer International. As a sector leader it is our intention to strengthen these alliances and forge new ones.
This abbreviated version of the history was originally written by Julian Cutland, with input from Sadie Cutland and Kenneth Dollman.