The 'Keeping in Touch' project is a Child Cancer Foundation initiative that helps newly diagnosed children stay in touch with their classmates and teachers.
In 2015, Good in the Hood Supercharger funding enabled the Foundation to purchase tablet devices, which are now being loaned to children having cancer treatment at hospital in Auckland and Christchurch.
Aroha (pictured), who is 12 years old, was diagnosed in February this year. She says “It's made a difference to me because I’m able to keep in contact through Skype to my friends and family and while I’m having chemo I can play games and listen to music.”
Working closely with Vodafone and Apple, the Child Cancer Foundation ensure the devices are secure, can be closely monitored, are Wi-Fi enabled and have age appropriate apps loaded for each child.
“This has really been a collaborative process. Thanks to Z Energy we will be delivering a unique project that will help keep children, who are in treatment, in touch with their families and friends back home,” says Child Cancer Foundation Chief Executive Robyn Kiddle.
Each week in New Zealand three children are diagnosed with cancer and at any given time the Foundation is supporting more than 500 families around the country. Over 70 percent of these families must travel from the regions to either Auckland or Christchurch for their child’s primary cancer treatment. A child’s initial cancer treatment can be anything from six weeks to 12 months, depending on the severity of the diagnosis.
“During this time, keeping the child, the parent with them, and the rest of the family in contact with each other is very important for maintaining everyone’s hope and morale and providing some sense of normality at an otherwise unpredictable time,” says Robyn.
Read more about the project here.