As part of their Good Business Journey, Woolworths is proud to support CHOC. Through the sale of each bag, Woolworths donates R10 to CHOC to support the work they do.
WHAT IS CHOC?
CHOC is the only organisation that provides comprehensive countrywide support for children with cancer and other life-threatening blood disorders, and their families.
In developed countries childhood cancer has largely become curable, with the overall survival rate reaching between 70% and 80% or higher whilst in South Africa the rate is closer to 50%. CHOC aims to ensure that more children in South Africa are cured and that the survival rate goes up.
For close on four decades our holistic approach has evolved to ensure children are diagnosed early, access paediatric oncologist care, and are supported throughout the lengthy treatment phase, which can last up to three years. CHOC also promotes early detection and plays a leading advocacy role.
Without CHOC, many children – particularly those from low-income households living far from treatment centres – would not adhere to the necessary but arduous treatment path.
CHOC has a proven ability to deliver sustainable solutions effectively and is an established brand endorsed by specialists. Our reporting on expenditure is detailed and accurate and we provide audited financial statements annually. We have demonstrated visible growth and proven we deliver results. CHOC is governed by a board and executive committee and complies with South African labour laws and employment equity requirements, which are reported on annually.
In 2010 CHOC was voted the7th most trusted and admired NGO in theAsk Afrika Trust Barometer Awards.
WHAT PROJECT WILL THE FUNDS SUPPORT?
Money from the sale of these bags will go towards our holistic programmes of support. These include:
Through our 13 home-away-from homes, we provide accommodation for: a parent to visit the child during hospitalisation; and for both the child and a parent during the out-patient phase. Our total capacity is 66 030 bed nights per annum and the 2015 budget for maintenance and running costs of accommodation facilities is R7.132 million.
Other practical support
This includes food, clothing, recreational activities and transport to and from the hospital. Our transport fund ensures children can go home and return for follow-up treatment.
A team of seven social and social auxiliary workers provide full-time psychosocial support in the paediatric oncology wards. They guide families and children through the long journey to recovery, often in their own languages and with an understanding of their social and cultural backgrounds. In instances where treatment is not successful, CHOC provides bereavement support.
Emotional support is also available by parents of children previously diagnosed with cancer and a team of trained volunteers who spend time in the ward as supportive listeners to the parents and playmates to the children, as well as accompanying children on outings.
CHOC’s Awareness Programme
Globally, childhood cancer is on the rise. It is now estimated that one in 408 children worldwide will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 15 years.
Unlike many developing countries, South Africa’s tertiary academic hospitals have paediatric oncology unit that provide specialised treatment. Unfortunately less than half of expected cases are being diagnosed, and of those diagnosed, most are in stage three or four. Yet with early detection and specialised treatment the survival rate can be much higher.
The South African Children’s Cancer Study Group (SACCSG) developed a set of warning signs for childhood cancer and CHOC disseminates them through:
general awareness nationwide and education and training for healthcare providers, traditional healers and communities, by a qualified nurse, which has led to more referrals. Since 2011, we have trained over 12 500 people, in addition to the awareness campaigns we run in all nine provinces. This has translated into a 23% increase in the occupancy rate at CHOC houses, which means more children are being diagnosed and accessing the paediatric oncology units at the tertiary academic hospitals.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED IN SUPPORTING THIS PROJECT?
By purchasing the ‘CHOC’ Woolworths bag, you have already recognised that we need to do all we can to support children with cancer and their families.
People can support our organisation through going to the Support us section on the CHOC website – they can donate money, time or provide in-kind donations, as well as buying CHOC merchandise (http://www.choc.org.za/support.html). Another way to support us is to join our loyalty programme CHOC-olate (www.choc-olate.co.za. We also have a lot of external fundraisers that run independent fundraising projects for CHOC.
WHO IS WORKING ON THIS PROJECT?
Through a head office, eight regional and two branch offices, and 13 accommodation facilities, located close to the treatment centres, we provide nationwide support, with some support programmes in secondary and more remote areas.
Although we have evolved from a volunteer-run organisation, largely comprised of parents, into a professional organisation with a staff of close on 90, at heart CHOC retains its parent-centric and volunteer focus. This is evident with most of our Board and ExCo members being either parents of cancer survivors or bereaved parents.
CHOC also relies on a vast network of individuals who give of their time voluntarily, to ensure that every child with cancer or a life-threatening blood disorder in South Africa is supported throughout the long process.
MORE INFO AND LINKS
At CHOC we aim to provide the best possible support for children with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders, and their families. Beginning as a parent support group in 1979, CHOC has developed into a nationwide organisation with a head office, six regions, two branches, and 13 housing facilities. Our holistic approach includes psychosocial support in the hospital wards, from diagnosis onwards, and practical support ranging from accommodation to transport and recreation. We also support paediatric oncology staff and the specialist treatment facilities and ensure hospital wards are child-friendly. Our early warning signs programme promotes early detection. Without our support, many children – particularly from low-income families living far from treatment centres – would not be able to access, or adhere to, the necessary but arduous treatment cycle, which can last up to three years.