The House of Hope in Davao, Philippines is linked to the Southern Mindanao Medical Center. It is the only cancer treatment center for children among the 20 million residents of the Mindanao region. The Center currently serves more than 3,500 children with various forms of cancer. Many are in later stages due to severe poverty of their families and lack of public health. This Christmas we seek to bring the healing joy of a gift exchange of toys among 350 children under age twelve.
Cancer in many forms has increased among many children in Asia, especially the Philippines, where the quality of air and water is affected by industrial or agricultural chemicals. Poverty is widespread and public health facilities are inadequate. In the Mindanao region, where Christians, Muslims and mountain tribal people live in extremely challenging conditions, the only cancer treatment facility which coordinates free medicines to the poor is the House of Hope in the City of Davao.
Cancer treatment is most successful when medicine, nutrition and an attitude of hope are fully integrated. At House of Hope, cancer treatment medicines are provided by the city government. But the expense of providing transportation, food and lodging for 3,500 children and their families is overwhelming. Private volunteers and organizations such as Asia America Initiative and One World institute assist with non-medical needs. Toys for Christmas add to a joyful healing process.
This program is an international model of donor kindness and global peace. By surviving, and spreading hope, the multi-ethnic child cancer patients inspire their neighbors in large impoverished communities. For children living in dire poverty the influence of violent crime and militant extremism is a constant temptation. This holistic program can empower entire communities to have hope.