Campeones de la Vida NR A.C. “Nariz roja” educates children with cancer in Mexico
We reduce the educational gap suffered by children and young people who are receiving treatment for this disease
In Mexico, it is estimated that each year there are between 5,000 and 6,000 new cases of cancer in children under the age of 18. This disease impacts the lives of those who suffer from it as well as those of their families, and not only in the area of health: some 60% of patients diagnosed for the first time will drop out of school by 2021. Given that traditional treatment can last an average of 5 years, the educational gap between children having treatment and their peers becomes insurmountable.
There are many reasons these children drop out of school, ranging from parents deciding that their children should concentrate on their treatment rather than their school work, to the patients themselves deciding to leave school due to fatigue or even bullying.
To alleviate this situation, Fundación MAPFRE collaborates with the association Campeones de la Vida NR A.C. “Nariz roja”, offering education from primary to high school level to 90 children and young people with cancer who receive care in public hospitals, for 12 months (a school year), either in a classroom and/or through an online format.
Most of these students are from low-income families in communities close to the metropolitan area and, in some cases, from other Mexican states, including Michoacán, Colima, Nayarit, Zacatecas and Sinaloa. The treatment implies a daily expense that includes food, transport, medicines, and other costs. Those who have a temporary or permanent disability are also offered free school transport.
The educational project focuses on developing the values, knowledge and skills that allow these students to achieve progressive self-reliance in personal, social, school and work aspects, just like other young people of the same age and academic level.
In addition, the nourishment of patients and their families is also addressed as a key part of the patient’s development and recovery. According to the American Cancer Society, eating well while undergoing cancer treatment can, along with other benefits, help patients feel better, tolerate treatment-related side effects better, and heal and recover more quickly. The project will employ a chef to give productive cooking courses to mothers who are the head of the family, to encourage their empowerment and offer them the opportunity to become entrepreneurs and cover their family’s needs by being self-employed.