The “Child4Child” campaign to support children with cancer worldwide has been launched by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness The Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients Society (FoCP), International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC, and Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, on Monday (15/02).The Child4Child global campaign coincided with the International Childhood Cancer Day, which is observed every year on February 15th with the aim to increase awareness about cancer among children. The initiative was launched at the headquarters of the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation and attended by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi, H.M. Queen Silvia, Carmen Auste, Chairperson of Childhood Cancer International (CCI), Per Leander, Secretary-General of the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, Ameera BinKaram, President of the Board of Trustees and founding member of FoCP, and a number of activists involved in supporting children with cancer in Sweden, and media representatives.
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi said, “Today marks the International Childhood Cancer Day as we gather here from different countries to unite our efforts towards a better response. We are all in agreement that we need to reduce the global burden of childhood cancer, which means we need to address the causes of the disease and reduce its prevalence. This requires raising awareness as well as providing education to improve decision-making, along with increased cancer surveillance, early detection and emphasis on prevention. Equal access to treatment for children with cancer is an important human right and must be on the agenda of health and humanitarian organizations at the international level.”Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher said that the International Childhood Cancer Fund (ChiCa), which was launched in cooperation with the UICC in May 2015, is the first humanitarian initiative of its kind in the world that aims to save the lives of many of the 90,000 children who die of cancer each year.
“The Child4Child campaign is an important platform for children with cancer as it gives them a voice and a chance to be heard. Children with cancer are superheroes with inspiring stories, let’s help them make it through their illness, and give them a chance to tell their own stories, and to build a cancer-free world,” said Her Highness, adding, “As snow falls outside this building where we meet now in the warmth, there are thousands of children with cancer who lack the warmth of a family because they are admitted to healthcare centres. For all these children I say, ‘you are our children wherever you are… we feel your pain and understand your feelings… we are your family, and won't leave you. You will go back to school, your family and friends, with smiles on your faces again’.”Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi also launched the music video for the single “We Are One", sung by children, some of whom have cancer, with the aim of supporting children with cancer. In 2016, the Childhood Cancer International (CCI) invited children everywhere to contribute to singing "We Are One” and more than 900,000 children have participated. The song was written by award-winning Hollywood film composer, Christophe Beck and his daughter Sophie. Children from the music school, Adolf Fredrik in Stockholm, performed the complete song live for the first time at the launch of Child4Child.
Queen Silvia praised Sheikha Jawaher's efforts in supporting and advocating for children with cancer and said, “Today the world is seeing the detection of approximately 700 cases of childhood cancer, and tomorrow there will be another 700 other cases diagnosed. I have learned through my work with children that they always have something to say to us, we need to listen to them, and therefore the "Child4 Child" campaign is very important. Through this new song "We Are One", more than 900,000 children from all over the world have participated in the campaign and created something unique in order to give courage, hope and faith. Together they raise their voices to make the adults listen, the children offer us a chance to understand the reality and the difficulties many of them are facing, and remind us of the fact that we can make a difference for children with cancer.”
Pierre Linder began the ceremony by welcoming Queen Silvia and Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi and praised their on-going support for children with cancer worldwide, and their outstanding efforts to mobilize corporate and community support for the cause. Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher listened to a presentation by Linder, who highlighted the foundation's mission to focus on supporting basic and clinical research on childhood cancer, supporting researchers and healthcare workers' further training and sharing of experience. The foundation also aims to support families affected by cancer on a nationwide level and provide information about cancer diseases in children and their ramifications. Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi and Queen Silvia also toured the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, founded in 1982 upon an initiative by the country’s six regional childhood cancer associations. The foundation currently funds 90% of research on childhood cancer in Sweden. Thanks to the efforts of the foundation and its partners, three out of four children with cancer in Sweden have recovered and returned to their normal life.
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi and Her Majesty Queen Silvia also visited the Children's Advocacy Center in Stockholm, and were briefed by Andish Forsbergh, Director of the Centre, about how they receive cases, types of treatment they give and psychological support provided to child victims of domestic violence.Her Majesty Queen Silvia hosted a lunch banquet in honour of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. The banquet was attended by Ana Hamilton, the first lady of the Swedish Royal Court, Noura Al Noman, Director-General of the Executive Office of HH Sheikha Jawaher, Ameera BinKaram, President of the Board of Trustees and founding member of FoCP, and Erum Mazhar Alvie , Senior Advisor at Sheikha Jawaher's Executive Office.
In June 2013, the Board of Directors of the UICC named Her Highness the official International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration and the first WCD International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer in the world. The honour comes in recognition of Her Highness' outstanding efforts at both the local and international level and her significant contribution towards cancer control, which includes the launch of initiatives aimed at raising public awareness about the risk and symptoms of cancer and the importance of early detection, and providing the best methods of treatment and care for patients and their families as well.In July 2014, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi donated EGP 10 million (AED5 million) to Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt (CCHE 57357) in Cairo to help ease the suffering of children with cancer in Egypt and neighbouring countries and provide them with treatment and healthcare. In May 2015, the Administration of CCHE 57357 opened a new wing named after Her Highness during her visit to the hospital in Cairo.
The hospital wing was named Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi in recognition of her generosity in providing financial support for the treatment of children with cancer.Also in May 2015, Her Highness launched the International Childhood Cancer Fund (ChiCa), in collaboration with the UICC, to save the lives of children with cancer worldwide and donated $1 million through The Big Heart Foundation to be the first revenue of the fund, which will contribute significantly to protecting children against this disease, which spreads worldwide.