Focus on Psychological Healing for Children with Cancer
By Albert Santoli - Project Leader
AAI-OWI Rep with Cancer Children
Asia America Initiative and our local partner distribute toys, books, and art supplies to children undergoing cancer treatment in the Southern Philippines at the House of Hope located at Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City, Philippines. The beauty of this center is it the only such cancer treatment facility in Mindanao, and social equity is shown to children of many ethnic and religious backgrounds. "Kindness and love is a key part of the overall treatment regimen for the children," says our program partner, Dr. Yolanda Stern, Director of One World Institute. "Toys and artistic mentoring by volunteer artists brings together the positive mental attitude needed for recovery from the illness and powerful medicines made available at little to no cost for the patients."
Many people who have survived cancer and other rare diseases understand that in addition to medical care, it is the love, prayers, and kindness that comes from family, friends and strangers that is key to healing and recovery. Asia America Initiative's cancer treatment program for children and women in GlobalGiving [#8496] has assisted many impoverished children in the Philippines thanks to the generosity of our donors. In addition to the hundreds of children we assist at House of Hope at the Southern Philippines Medical Center, we have had special interventions for individual children that prove sometimes "miracles" can happen.
In addition to support from our GlobalGiving donors and the churches and schools from middle America who donate stuffed toys that AAI ships to Davao, local government and business community members in Davao all do their part in the healing process. Volunteer teachers and mentors use our toys, books and art supplies provided by AAI to help heal the psychological trauma often experienced by the children during their long hospital stays. This is especially important for young children who need care and guidance. It is a beautiful model of local and global "extended family" love. Our art programs conducted in hospital wards build a joyful attitude to embrace life and value education to enhance their healing process.
Often, these children have never had a toy of their own and they become a touchstone of support as they go through their medical treatments. In 2020 we will attempt to distribute joyful gifts to the child patients every month. Your role as contributors is essential!
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