In Zimbabwe, cancer is now the leading cause of death. With no subsidized costs for treatment, marginalized cancer patients have little or no hope. At the heart of our mission, lie the five marginalized cancer patients and their families whom we are supporting through the “Sponsor a Cancer Patient campaign”.
The patients were selected in August 2012 after an on-the-ground campaign in three high density areas in Harare – Mufakose, Mbare, and Hatcliffe. A high density area is a housing area where there are many houses in one space to accommodate many people. As a grassroots organisation, we chose to start in a few areas and branch out as our resources grow. The ECCT volunteers went into these areas handing out application forms and informing people about our campaign as we sought 5 cancer patients to support with some of their medical costs, education for one child per family and nutritional needs from January 2013.
The majority of applications we received were from Hatcliffe and using a universal needs-based scoring system, we were able to identify four cancer sufferers in Hatcliffe and one patient in Harare’s inner city area of Avenues who were struggling to make ends meet. More of their images,videos and stories will be featured on our new website which is currently under construction.
We recognise the importance of the community structures which surround the patients we are supporting, so for example, the local primary school and orphanage in the Hatcliffe community supports several cancer orphans. In fact, it is the leaders of this school which are a source of security for many children in that community. In order for us to find struggling cancer patients in the community, we were assisted by the leaders of the school who know the members of the community well and are known as “the pillars” of the Hatcliffe society.
In October 2012, ECCT Founder – Teurai Chanakira – who is currently based in Melbourne, Australia – went to Zimbabwe in one of her many trips there to meet the patients and officially launch the Trust. Below are a few images to show a snippet of the experiences the ECCT Team have had whilst reaching out to and getting to know those they aim to help.
*Keep your eyes posted on our blog for more images and videos of our work in the community.