Signs that the festive period is coming are all around us. In our commutes to work, the adverts we see and the changing in weather. As the nights get darker and the days become shorter we cast your minds to a brighter place in Accra, Ghana.
During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Kieran, Marketing and Communications Manager, met Elizabeth, a warm and welcoming woman who was making beaded necklaces one evening at the doctors desk. Elizabeth was sitting amongst a group of mothers, all of whom have children who are being treated for cancer at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
“We are here making necklaces together. Many of us are here for a long time, we work, learn and talk together.”
Elizabeth takes a break from the bead making to speak to Kieran about the classes;
“Before the classes I had nothing. No work and no hope for money. My child is sick and I am worried, how can I pay for his treatment and will he get better? The classes have really helped, they give us new skills and help make money that we wouldn't otherwise have.”
For many families in developing countries like Ghana the cost of treatment is simply unaffordable. Those that do make it to hospital are often pushed further into poverty due to mounting medical costs.
A parent may have to save for weeks to gather enough money to get to hospital. They are then greeted with the additional costs of finding accommodation whilst away from home and other essential items such as food and water. These are all costs mothers like Elizabeth need to overcome before even thinking about the cost of treatment itself.
World Child Cancer supports some of the poorest and most vulnerable families in the world. Elizabeth hopes her son recovers from his cancer but whilst he is receiving treatment, she uses the jewellery classes to help her make an income and relieve some of the stresses of having a child with cancer.
“These classes help us in many ways, without the money we would suffer and without the support we would worry. We are a family now.”
The jewellery mothers like Elizabeth make is sold on the World Child Cancer Shop with all funds raised going back to the mothers that make them. Help make this a special Christmas for you and for children with cancer by buying your handcrafted Ghanaian jewellery this festive season.