We tailor-make solutions for people living with cancer by providing resources and simplified, holistic, credible, consistent information about cancer management.
Empowering communities for a better response to cancer management
The Cancer Café is the brainchild of Muthoni Mate, a breast cancer survivor and the founding director of the Cancer café-a regular meeting forum of everyone touched by cancer where over a meal or drinks, the public consults with specialists, share, learn and more importantly bring back the dignity taken away by cancer.
Initially, the meetings were held at Kafein Bistro at Marsabit plaza and were on a monthly basis. Between 6pm – 8 pm, the audience would interact with the specialist of the day in question and answer sessions that also opened up to discussions with patients, caregivers and the general public on cancer related topics. The first cancer café was held in the month of September 2017 with a monthly average attendance of 30-40 people per session.
Over time, the feedback from the audience was that 2 hours was not enough and that they needed practical examples of the various topics that were up for discussion. These included nutritional demonstrations, grooming & wellness, group exercise sessions and talks. A one stop shop for all matters cancer related.
The Cancer Café was set up as a response to needs identified during the founders’ treatment on the inaccessibility of holistic multi layered credible yet simplified information during and after care by people living with cancer and their caregivers on cancer prevention and management. So far the platform has assisted over 5,000 people affected by cancer on mental wellness, financial ring fencing, nutrition, relationships and psycho-social support. We have also assisted in linking members of the public to screening facilities for the early diagnosis and subsequent management of cancer.
After attending the Cancer Café forums, patients report improved engagement with their doctors and a calmer approach in treatment planning. Caregivers reported better understanding of how best to support loved ones and healthcare providers reported better understanding of non-clinical aspects that affect medical interventions on patients and how to better navigate through this.
There is reported marked increase in the number of wellness screenings from audiences and risky behavior reduction. We also have reported reduction of cancer stigma in communities and incorporation of patients’ voices in the community messaging that has helped in restoring of survivors self-esteem, customizing policy documents and strategic plans to be culturally acceptable and setting up of economic empowerment hubs for survivors to regain their financial independence.