"Great against cancer family homes" for children

by Soleterre - Strategie di pace Onlus
"Great against cancer family homes" for children
"Great against cancer family homes" for children
"Great against cancer family homes" for children
"Great against cancer family homes" for children
"Great against cancer family homes" for children
"Great against cancer family homes" for children
"Great against cancer family homes" for children
"Great against cancer family homes" for children
Isaac at Casa Soleterre in Gulu, Uganda
Isaac at Casa Soleterre in Gulu, Uganda

What does “home” mean to you? Is it a specific place with a distinct address? Is a “home” defined by those you find there? Or is a “home” more of a conceptual idea, akin to a safe haven where one feels protected and at ease?

When a child is suddenly diagnosed with cancer, it impacts the entire family, and even extends to influence the general safety and security of the home. It becomes unstable. Treating an illness is most successful through a wholistic approach, where medical, economic and psychological perspectives are addressed. Therefore, the restabilization of home becomes part of the cure.

Casa Soleterre family homes were born from this idea. Here, guests receive psychological support and attention to their mental, economic and physical needs. They are located near major hospitals that boast leading oncological and hematological pediatric wards. This way, guests of Casa Soleterre are able to participate in outpatient therapy and are supported throughout their course of treatment in a safe and familiar space outside of the hospital’s walls.

We would like to introduce you to one of our guests at Casa Soleterre in Gulu, Uganda. His name is Isaac and he is 14 years old.

Isaac lives in the village of Adwiri, located in the district of Kole in Uganda, along with his parents and 4 siblings. When Isaac’s abdomen began to swell in the spring of 2022, it seemed to be a dietary issue, but the situation quickly worsened. Despite consulting many doctors, Isaac’s parents were unable to find an answer to what was ailing their son. Then came a terrible diagnosis: Burkitt lymphoma.

Isaac was soon rushed to Lacor Hospital in Gulu. There they found that the tumor had already progressed to a more advanced stage and Isaac immediately began chemotherapy. An already terrible diagnosis, Isaac's condition was made more stressful due to the move. Accompanied only by his father, Andrew, Isaac was taken far away from his family in Adwiri to receive his treatment in Gulu. Worse yet, his father had to stop working for the interim. Luckily, Isaac and Andrew were welcomed by Casa Soleterre where they have access to free housing, meals, psychological support, emergency funding and skills training.

Although he may be far from home, Isaac is not alone. Supported by his father, who remains at his side, as well as the efforts of our Soleterre staff and the other families in residence at Casa Soleterre, Isaac has the strength of a resilient community behind him. Andrew has also become a key figure in his son’s recovery and among our Soleterre staff. Andrew's support for fellow residents increased strength and solidarity among staff and residents of Soleterre, forging a sense of local community within the family home.

Andrew and Isaac have stayed with us at Casa Soleterre for nearly 5 months while Isaac bravely completed his rounds of treatment. Despite his late diagnosis, Isaac responded very well to treatment. We are thrilled to report on Isaac's success, and we look forward to seeing him again at Casa Soleterre in the near future to complete his post-treatment check-ups.

Today, there are Casa Soleterre family homes throughout Italy, Ukraine, Côte d'Ivoire, Morocco, Burkina Faso and Uganda. Each one offers free accommodation to its guests, including psychological and psycho-social support, all the while respecting the individual context provided by each host country and the partnering hospital. These family homes are safe, intimate environments that offer families of children with cancer a kind of protection against the psychological trauma that follows such a dramatic diagnosis. Case Soleterre welcomes families with support, listening and fun, so that a bit of normalcy may be returned to a life preoccupied by illness.

We thank you for your continued support, in helping children like Isaac, to help support him and his family during this difficult time. We hope that you will share these stories of our work together with your family and friends so that we may continue to help support children with cancer, everywhere.

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Casa Soleterre's playground in Ukraine
Casa Soleterre's playground in Ukraine

When we think about a “home,” we immediately think of a place that provides shelter—one that protects and defends us. When a child suddenly is faced with such a terrible illness as cancer, its devastating impact spreads throughout their families and their homes. Oftentimes, such an illness requires the entire family to uproot itself and relocate for medical treatment. In order to stay by their child’s side, parents may be forced to leave their jobs, accrue added travel and housing costs, or cause serious emotional strain on their support systems. In this traumatic circumstance, having a place to call home, psychological support and access to medical treatment is crucial for both economic and mental stability. We believe that having a supportive home is an integral part of the cure

That is the reason we founded the Casa Soleterre family homes.

In these homes, families receive psychological support and attention to their needs. Located nearby leading pediatric oncology and hematology wards, these homes also provide access to short and long-term medical treatment options outside the hospital in more comfortable, familiar settings. Casa Soleterre homes welcome families in the hopes of returning a bit of normalcy to a life preoccupied by illness. 

Today, Casa Soleterre homes can be found in Italy, Ukraine, Côte d'Ivoire, Morocco, Burkina Faso and Uganda. Each Casa offers free housing as well as psychological and psychosocial support to its residents with special attention to the local context and its affiliated hospitals. As of today, there are 7 Casa Soleterre homes hosting 363 children in need, along with their families, for a total of 783 residents. Moreover, the staff of Casa Soleterre homes have administered over 7,479 therapy sessions bringing integral support to 4,024 children and 3,455 family members.

In Italy, there are 2 Casa Soleterre homes: one located in Taranto, in the southern region of Puglia, and another in Pavia, in the northern region of Lombardy. These family homes were established in 2021 and 2022, respectively, to offer assistance to local families in need. Pavia's Casa Soleterre was designed to host families and children undergoing treatment at San Matteo Hospital and, more recently, has been integral in supporting Ukrainian families brought to Italy for safety and their child’s treatment needs due to the ongoing war.

In the fall of 2022, Soleterre opened not one, but 2 new family homes to support families in Ukraine and Morocco. Located in Marrakesh, this Casa Soleterre is known as “Dar Amal,” meaning “House of Hope.” Here, children undergoing treatment for cancer and their families also have access to scholastic activities so that they avoid falling behind in their schooling during treatment.

“Without the support of Soleterre, we would never have been able to help Isaac to overcome this tough time,” says former Casa Soleterre resident, Andrew. In March 2022, Andrew's son Isaac was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma and began chemotherapy at Lacor Hospital in Gulu, Uganda. After 5 months with Casa Soleterre, Isaac completed his treatment and, despite his late diagnosis, Isaac has fortunately responded very well to treatment. We are thrilled to report on Isaac's success and Andrew's renewed faith in the future now that he can see his son strong and smiling once again.

Unfortunately, there are countless children just like Isaac whose families cannot afford the financial or emotional burden of their child’s cancer treatment needs alone. For them, Soleterre's support is essential. Thanks to Casa Soleterre family homes and the services they provide, families are able to withstand the burden of treatment and the distance from friends and relatives. At our 7 Casa Soleterre homes across Africa and Europe, we strive to provide the kind of support and security these families and many more can count on. Together, we can help children receive early diagnoses, critical medical care and steady love and support from their families to defeat cancer and look towards the future.

Casa Soleterre in Morocco
Casa Soleterre in Morocco
Casa Soleterre in Pavia, Italy
Casa Soleterre in Pavia, Italy
A family in its new apartment in Ukraine
A family in its new apartment in Ukraine
Families and Soleterre staff in Morocco
Families and Soleterre staff in Morocco
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We are proud to share the results achieved in the first half of the year. 

In 2022 we continued our commitment through the program “Great against cancer” ensuring free accommodation, daily assistance from our dedicated staff and psychological support to children suffering from cancer and to their families in Soleterre’s Community Homes in 6 different countries.

Thanks to our donors’ support we are able every day to help children in their battle against cancer.

Children like Aziz. He was only 8 when he started suffering from pain in the abdomen. His parents decided to ask for medical advice and the doctor prescribed generic painkillers. Aziz continued to suffer from severe pains and was then transferred to the Children’s Hospital in Ouagadougou, capital city of Burkina Faso. At the hospital Aziz received a late diagnosis of lymphoma, an aggressive type of cancer that needed an early diagnosis.

To save Aziz it is necessary to monitor him constantly through blood tests and x-ray and to provide his family financial support to pay for hospitalization and follow up expenses. Aziz’s family lives 190 km away from Ouagadougou, which means a 4 hours trip. “Since the very beginning of his illness we made all we could in order to save Aziz. We even sold all of our goats” recounts his father.

In order to treat their child’s cancer, families have to face significant costs, above all in countries where treatment expenses are not covered by the local healthcare system. In many cases parents have also to bear heavy costs for transports, accommodation and board to travel to another city for the treatment. Many families are not able to afford these costs and are often forced to interrupt the treatment process.This is a choice that no parent would ever want to make.

This is the reason why we work relentlessly to cover all the expenses families have to face to get their children treated properly. This effort is crucial to avoid parents to abandon the treatment process and give children suffering from cancer a chance of healing.

As Soleterre, we strongly believe that every child has the right to access quality care regardless of the country or social and economic conditions. We are committed every day to guarantee this right by responding to each country needs in the most effective way possible.

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This is the story of Emmanuel, who is just six, born and raised in the village of Onyaboyere in Uganda along his parents and 5 siblings.

“One day a huge swelling started growing on Emmanuel’s face” recounts Jalia, Emmanuel’s mom. “The diagnosis shattered us: Burkitt’s lymphoma, an extremely aggressive type of cancer. In no time the situation worsened to the point that my child could not speak or eat due to the disease.”

“When he was admitted to Gulu’s Hospital, Emmanuel was so embarrassed by his appearance he hid his face from the doctors. As parents, we were so doleful, we couldn’t bear seeing our son suffering like that”

The entire family is hosted free of charge at the Community Home, where they receive support by Rainbow Home’s psychologists. The family benefits from the therapy sessions and starts displaying a positive and hopeful approach.

Soon after being admitted, Emmanuel undergoes the surgical procedure that allows him to start speaking again. Thanks to the operation and the therapy sessions, Emmanuel’s confidence improves and he decides to help other kids suffering from the same tumour in the Community Home improving their attitude towards the future.

We are so grateful for all the help we got at the Community Home. Our baby is now well and we feel stronger too thanks to the psychologists’ support which allowed us to make it through such a hard time”.


Soleterre’s Community Homes were born to guarantee comfortable and free of charge accommodation for kids with cancer throughout their treatment. It is possible to help struggling families through welcoming and to provide ill kids with a safe and shielded environment where they can receive all the necessary psychological support in order to recover.

Over 20 years Soleterre has launched 6 Community Homes in 6 different countries, provided more than 70 beds and in 2022 hosted over 300 children along their families.

Ukraine: in 2009 Soleterre launched its first “Smile’s Dacha” Community Home in Kiev.

Ivory Coast: “AKWABA Home” (The Welcome Home) has opened its doors in 2014.

Uganda: The Rainbow Home inaugurated in 2017 at St Mary’s Lacor Hospital in Gulu, Northern Uganda.

Burkina Faso: our operations begun in the country in 2020 through acquiring a Home for the kids and their families.

Taranto: the first Italian Community Home was funded in 2021 in order to help ill children admitted to Taranto’s S.S. Annunziata Hospital.

Morocco: the Home’s construction is nearly completed, and soon many children will be able to receive psychological support and partake in scholastic and recreational activities.

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In 2021 we helped 2,965 children with cancer and their parents in 6 countries, offering 7,479 psychological support sessions, thanks to our international team of 17 psychologists.

Psychological support not only relieves fatigue and stress, but also allows a better quality of life even after remission from the tumor. In fact, it is well-known that disorders such as anxiety and depression can persist even after medical recovery has been achieved. 

"Action must therefore be taken immediately, from the onset of the disease and from the start of the treatment process, to reduce anxiety and depression, thus limiting the possibility that, once medical healing has been achieved, there are important sequelae of psychological illness that compromise effective healing” - Damiano Rizzi, Soleterre’s President and Developmental Psychologist

In this International Childhood Cancer Day give us a hand to help even more children in Italy and in the world. 

Make your donation now on GlobalGiving:


Thank you so much: you'll make every children GREAT AGAINST CANCER


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Soleterre - Strategie di pace Onlus

Location: OPERA - Italy
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @SoleterreOnlus
Project Leader:
Emanuela La Macchia
OPERA , Italy
$15,453 raised of $23,250 goal
199 donations
$7,797 to go
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