In the first of its kind in Australia, Camp Quality has announced the expansion of their Kids’ Guide to Cancer app to include four new languages; Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin and Hindi in order to provide multicultural children and families who are facing cancer with crucial health information in their own language, aiming to help in improving their health outcomes.
The Camp Quality Kids’ Guide to Cancer has been redeveloped and translated into the four key languages with the aim of addressing the language barrier by delivering quality, age-related and culturally appropriate information to children and families impacted by a cancer diagnosis.
Child using the Kid’s Guide to Cancer
Kids’ Guide to Cancer helps parents, grandparents and carers explain cancer and treatments to children with age-appropriate information and easy to understand graphics and videos. Kids’ Guide to Cancer is also now available in a website format to ensure it is more accessible.
Camp Quality CEO, Deborah Thomas, said the launch of the updated resource is a major milestone and first for the charity, and will help provide support to even more families on their cancer journey.
“Camp Quality supports one in three children diagnosed with cancer, however our goal is to help them all. We know that for children and families who speak another language, it’s a particularly frightening time because they are often unable to access cancer information in their language that is credible, age-appropriate and educational.”
Deborah Thomas on how Camp Quality thought about starting this initiative
Ms Thomas says that their award winning Kids’ Guide to Cancer app and website addresses this gap and will no doubt become the go-to, accessible source of credible and trusted information for families facing cancer.
Arabic, Cantonese, Hindi and Mandarin were chosen for being four of the largest language groups other than English spoken in Australia. By translating the Kids’ Guide to Cancer into these languages, Camp Quality hopes to make cancer information more accessible to positively change the experience for more families facing cancer.
“We are proud to offer the Kids’ Guide to Cancer in these four new languages to all families at absolutely no cost, and we hope that it will make a difference in the lives of more children and families facing cancer,” said Ms Thomas.
Kids Guide to Cancer is accessible as a website at https://www.campquality.org.au/kids-guide-to-cancer/ or free download from the Apple Store or Google Play.
Director of The Cancer Centre for Children at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Dr Luciano Dalla-Pozza says, ”A majority of children and adolescents we treat for cancer at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
“Cancer is difficult for any family, but when language is also a barrier, it is far more challenging, especially when sharing and explaining information.
“The Kids’ Guide to Cancer app and website is an invaluable additional resource that makes it easy to translate information to our young vulnerable patients and their families from CALD backgrounds,” Dr Dalla-Pozza said.
Dr Luciano Dalla-Pozza says 85% of children will be cured using current therapies
Gewa Arja’s Story
Gewa knows only too well the need for quality, age related and culturally appropriate information for multicultural families impacted by a cancer diagnosis.
The 41 year old Greenacre mum has lost two children to cancer; nine year old Mohamed who died from a brain tumour in 2019 and 10 year old Omar who initially beat a brain tumour only to succumb to Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2021.
Both children had mismatch repair syndrome, an inherited condition that increases a person’s risk of developing certain cancers.
Whilst Gewa and her children were fluent English speakers, her husband Fadi only speaks Arabic and it was often difficult for Gewa to explain treatment options to him, especially because it was so emotional to do so.
Gewa says, “Had there been more resources in Arabic, it may have given him a better understanding of things. Sometimes I could explain it to him, but for me it probably would’ve had the emotional attachment, but if there was information in Arabic he probably he’ll understand more.
Gewa Arja on why such initiatives are very important
“Sometimes both sides of the family don’t speak at all English. So, imagine having your child being diagnosed with cancer and you know nothing, no English, nothing. It’s hard if you don’t have the language and no one to support you there. It puts too much pressure on the family to go out there and get a translator all the time, and they’re often not available.”
Sheba Nandkeolyar is CEO of MultiConnexions. She emphasises the importance of health organisations connecting with communities.
Sheba Nandkeolyar on importance of language resources for CALD communities
Camp Quality are there for kids (0-15 years) dealing with their own cancer diagnosis, or the diagnosis of a sibling or parent, every step of the way and hope to bring positivity, fun and laughter back into the lives of kids facing cancer.
Their services and programs help families build optimism and resilience by building supportive communities, giving families the chance to reconnect following hospital treatment at their Family Retreats, providing a break from cancer at their Camps and curriculum based in-school education programs with the Camp Quality puppets.
Damian Ragusa, General Manager – Services & Programs, Camp Quality, says this is just the start
Their services also include digital resources and counselling, accessible whenever and wherever they are needed.
Camp Quality say they are proud to have improved the quality of life for kids impacted by cancer, and their families for 40 years.
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