Through a difficult journey of over 9 consecutive years since its inception as a fundraising project in year 2010/2011, project ‘Hand in Hand’ has succeeded not only in providing the Cancer Hospitals of Maharagama and Karapitiya with the medicine and equipment to cure those precious souls, but also in bringing smiles to the faces of those brave fighters of Child Cancer. The massive all-year-round campaign has received numerous appraisals during various occasions in appreciation of the massive service rendered for the little souls fighting cancer. This year, “Hand in Hand ’19” takes on a new course of action as we hope to expand the scope of our project.
The adult patients who are currently receiving treatment at the Apeksha Hospital have had to leave their occupations and stay at the hospital premises. For some, this has brought to a halt the only source of income for an entire family. For others, it may have been the end of the family business since they had to leave their homes and come to the city to find a cure for their dear loved ones suffering from the menacing disease. Houses sold, lands mortgaged, families crashed are the deeper and darker sides of cancer which we don’t perceive. They result in haunting those patients and their families alike.
Amidst all these hardships, some of them chose not to fall but to keep fighting for a livelihood by making small handicrafts during the time they spent in bed. Yet, most of the handicrafts they make do not go to the market due to the lack of business opportunities and their lack of knowledge to produce quality products which will attract more customers. By introducing “Hope”, the brand new addition to the project “Hand in Hand”, we at Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa took the initial steps to make a clear and stable method of income for these innocent fighters.
“Hope ’19” took place on the 12th of October 2019, at the old auditorium of Apeksha Hospital, Maharagama.
About ten adult patients who were interested in making handicrafts and self-employment joined with us enthusiastically to learn how to make quality and beautiful products. A Fashion Designing undergraduate of University of Moratuwa, demonstrated the process of making ‘string art’ to the patients who listened carefully and learnt it eagerly. They were given all the necessary equipment to make the handicrafts and a few members of Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa helped them while keeping them company. The workshop was held in two sessions and the patients were given refreshments and lunch in between the sessions. At the end of the day, we were able to collect more items than we even expected, showing the patients’ keenness in the process. The monetary value for the products they made were given on the day itself which they received with great appreciation. Their feedback was very heartwarming and fulfilling.
The newly introduced logo for ‘Hand in Hand’ (designed by Rtr. Manuja Dayanath) conveys the meaning that both children and adults fighting the death loop of cancer shall escape to lead a better life together with the aid of our helping hands.
This is not just an endeavour which helps them earn an income, rather it gives them the feeling that they are not useless, their lives have purpose and in some ways it will revitalize them by giving them hope. This will definitely have a positive effect on the mentality of the patients.
As always, Rotaract Mora will continue this virtuous endeavour to give them the “hope” that they deserve.