20.2 C
London
Friday, April 12, 2024
HomeISFIRE Vol 12– Issue 4 August 2022Global Awards Spotlight Focp’s Philanthropic Leadership Promoting Cancer Prevention & Care

Global Awards Spotlight Focp’s Philanthropic Leadership Promoting Cancer Prevention & Care

spot_imgspot_img

FOR 22 YEARS, UAE-BASED CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATION, FRIENDS OF CANCER PATIENTS, HAS LED SUCCESSFUL COMMUNITY PROGRAMMES ROOTED IN COMPASSION, LEADERSHIP AND INNOVATION

Conquering her initial sense of fear and devastation upon being diagnosed with cancer, Nadia underwent a double mastectomy with the support of UAE-based civil society organisation, Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP). The mother of three remembers how she gathered courage to withstand the treatment with the help of the non-profit headquartered in Sharjah. So did Afaf, who found herself a beneficiary of FOCP’s financial and psychological support, when all other doors seemed to close on her. The women today take part in all support programmes of FOCP, and thanks to its leadership for their unwavering philanthropic vision and commitment for the past 22 years.
FOCP has been providing exceptional service to lessen the suffering of cancer patients and their families by offering financial, psychological and moral support to them in

the form of free treatment, care and follow-up as well as community engagement programmes. Its continuous efforts to provide a world where cancer no longer has control over our lives has now won it the Global Good Governance Awards (3G Awards) in two categories, namely, the 3G Leadership Award for Social Sector & Philanthropy 2022 and the 3G Best Community Service Award 2022. The awards, instituted by Cambridge IFA, are a recognition of FOCP’s steadfast commitment to the community and its passion for upholding excellence, continuously improving, and looking for opportunities to provide much-needed support.
The civil society organisation was founded in 1999 under the directives and patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Patron of FOCP, and International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). Since then, it has successfully helped cancer patients and their families overcome a multitude of challenges, bringing them hope in the most difficult of circumstances. It has made impactful efforts to raise awareness about the types of cancer, the risks, and at the same time garnered the support of public and private institutions to provide financial succour for meeting the high treatment costs.

A HOST OF INITIATIVES GEARED TOWARDS RAISING CANCER AWARENESS

FOCP also makes sending and receiving donations easy on its website (www. https://www.focp.ae/). While donors can rest assured that their donations in their entirety will go to the needy under various schemes such as Locks of Hope, Pink Caravan, and Joy Cart, resident patients and their families can enrol for assistance by filling in details about their illness, treating doctors and income.
Amongst FOCP’s strategic initiatives to raise awareness and lessen the burden of the disease, the Pink Caravan is the UAE’s leading campaign that advocates the early detection of breast cancer. Since 2011, it has conducted over 75,000 clinical examinations including 20,794 mammograms and 3,584 ultrasound procedures until 2020. Covering 1,953 kilometres across the seven emirates of the UAE, it has garnered the support of over 910 volunteers and 986 hospitals and clinics.
For men, the FOCP initiative for early detection of cancer ‘Kashf’ addresses prostate and testicular cancer, raising awareness through its Shanab campaign (Arabic for moustache). It has a novel strategy called Kick Cancer to raise awareness through the emotive power of football, where it aims to provide not just “good football, but football for good”. Since, one in three men can develop cancer; it encourages men to get screened early.
For children, there is the Ana initiative – ana means ‘I’ in Arabic – to celebrate the individuality of child patients irrespective of their physical appearance. The programme enhances the lives of paediatric cancer patients and helps raise awareness about the warning signs of childhood cancer.

SINCE 2011, PINK CARAVAN HAS CONDUCTED OVER 75,000 CLINICAL EXAMINATIONS INCLUDING 20,794 MAMMOGRAMS AND 3,584 ULTRASOUND PROCEDURES UNTIL 2020. COVERING 1,953 KILOMETRES ACROSS THE SEVEN EMIRATES OF THE UAE, IT HAS GARNERED THE SUPPORT OF OVER 910 VOLUNTEERS AND 986 HOSPITALS AND CLINICS.

FOCP also had an initiative from 2014 to 2016 to raise awareness about skin cancer, a major concern in the Middle East which gets excessive sunlight. Another concern in the UAE is lung cancer, with 226 deaths reported in 2020. FOCP has turned its focus on both small cell lung cancer and also non-small cell lung cancer, the former being an aggressive form of cancer that makes up 20% of all lung cancer cases.

TURNING COMMUNITY MEMBERS INTO CHAMPIONS OF PHILANTHROPY

Since 2017, the Relay for Life annual event has been generating publicity and funds in the fight against cancer. In 2020, FOCP’s Relay for Life Summer Challenge saw both individuals and companies join in, encouraging participants to target 8,000 steps every day to contribute to achieving the overall goal of 10 million steps. Finally, in October, FOCP organised the Pink Steps Challenge to encourage individuals and corporate teams to improve their health by targeting 20 million steps and contribute to the treatment of cancer patients who cannot afford it.

Offering patients an opportunity to meet and connect with one another and work together to overcome the disease, FOCP has created the Colour My World programme, which helps patients to socialise with trips, sporting activities and workshops throughout the year.

Furthering its commitment to community development and service, FOCP has been promoting the zakat campaign during Ramadan to help Muslim patients. FOCP sees to it that the philanthropic collections contribute to a sustainable world through good governance strategies. In 2021 alone, the zakat campaign raised AED2.2 million, serving 354 patients with 29 chemotherapies, five surgeries, four radiotherapies, 17 scans, 53 pieces of medical equipment, 20 medications and 206 food coupons.

RALLYING GLOBAL SUPPORT IN THE BATTLE AGAINST CANCER

The non-profit has actively coalesced the support of individuals and organisations in both public and private sectors to raise funds to develop cancer research. It has organised key forums to bring the international stakeholders together to strengthen partnerships and explore new ones in the field of cancer prevention and control. In partnership with NCD Alliance, FOCP convened the 3rd Global NCD Alliance Forum in February 2020, which saw the participation of 400 delegates from 80 countries. 53 national and regional alliances were represented at the Forum.

FOCP has also partnered with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for the development and revision of cervical cancer prevention and control programmes of the Ministry of Health and partner agencies.


CHAIRPERSON SHINES LIGHT ON FUTURE PLANS
According to HE Sawsan Jafar, Chairperson of FOCP Board of Directors, sustainability is at the core of its philanthropic and development projects that focus on compassion, leadership, and innovation. It therefore makes efforts to reduce gender and income disparities that hamper early detection and treatment. It supports patients and medical trials in low-income countries, while enabling value-based care to minimise unseen larger expenses. The organisation, she emphasised, will continue working with their international partners in order to continue achieving greater results in their efforts to reduce the burden on patients, healthcare systems and civil society organisations, both in the region as well as through FOCP’s global reach.
The FOCP slogan “we are always with you” comforts patients and caregivers in the UAE and the region, and offers them the strength to continue living with hope and dignity.

Subscribe

- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories

spot_img

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here