The goal of 57357’s volunteers department:
Encouraging the society to take an active role to support Hospital 57357 through volunteering where the volunteers department aligns its goals to Hospital 57357’s mission and vision, to contribute to the provision of the best quality physical and psychological care to children with cancer.
Volunteers department’s guiding principles:
- Believing in God and in man’s good and positive energy.
- The department depends on people who voluntary donate their time and abilities for free in favor of the community.
- Volunteers represent the society in general and their different backgrounds and culture reflect the diversity of the society.
- Respect for everyone, of all ages and backgrounds.
- Love for children.
How to join 57357’s volunteers?
- Age must be 18 or more.
- Call the volunteers department’s hot line (19057).
- Volunteering forms can be filled through the Hospital’s website www.57357.org or through the volunteers department at the Hospital’s premises and presenting a personal picture and an ID photocopy.
- Once the application is accepted the person is requested to come for an interview.
- In case of passing the interview you should attend a training on how to perform your voluntary activities in the Hospital.
- Committing to work for at least 3 hours weekly for 3 months (test period) and complete at least 36 hours of volunteering .
Through a group of activities that volunteers participate in, they support 57357’s children and contribute to perform many tasks in the Hospital
- Administration work: volunteers with computer skills work in entering volunteers data and business cards of the department’s visitors.
- Family support: an activity that is practiced with children and their families, without using toys, just talking.
- Art and handicrafts: the different workshops that volunteers set up such as knitting, crochet, paper work (decoupage) and foam recycling.
- Visits: an activity for volunteers with figurative language and communication skills to meat visitors and speak to them about the Hospital.
- Exhibitions and celebrations: volunteers work as organizers in exhibitions and parties.
- Holy Quran memorization: volunteers with permission of Quran memorization teach children Quran memorization.
- Realizing wishes (Omneya & Saeed): about trying to realize children’s wishes.
- Grandma Nouni: a volunteer acts as a grandma and tell stories to children.
- 57357’s children choir: a team of the Hospital’s recovered children receive training by volunteers who have singing talent.
- 57357’s volunteers’ choir: a group of talented volunteers sing in volunteers’ celebrations.
- Room decoration: an activity that is practiced for one day weekly, where a group of volunteers decorate patients’ rooms to enhance their psychological condition.
- Puppet theater: for volunteers with talent in moving hand puppets and voice mimic, to entertain children during receiving treatment or waiting in the outpatient clinics.
- Birthday celebration: volunteers celebrate children’s birthdays in the current month.
- Survivors’ workshops: a psychological support activity performed by the Hospital’s recovered patients to enhance other patients’ psychological condition.
- External workshops: An art workshop provided by donors who conduct various workshops such as painting, coloring, paper art and accessories, using their own tools.
- Parties: an activity provided by external donors to hold an entertainment party for children including plays or puppet shows.
- Trips: an activity provided by external donors to take patients and families on trips to clubs, amusement parks and others.
Modern English School
The idea of the in-hospital school started with Dr. Rafeda Askar, who presided and managed a group of schools throughout the last 28 years. With every new new appointment as schoolmaster , she was keen to organize visits to the National Cancer Institute, NCI, for students who used to carry gifts for the institute’s children patients, to support them during their tough treatment journey. During one of the visits, Dr. Askar met with Dr. Sherif Abouel Naga, the pediatric oncology doctor who was very compassionate towards children with cancer. Dr. Abouel Naga dreamed of establishing a hospital specialized in treating children’s cancer for free. By this time, the Hospital was just a dream with no potential to become a reality. However, God’s will was stronger than all circumstances and with Dr. Abouel Naga’s determination and the support of a group of business men and women, the dream was realized. In 2007, the Hospital started operation and was a safe haven for thousands of Egypt’s children with cancer. In 2008, Dr. Abouel Naga asked Dr. Askar how she could be of support to the Hospital. As a professional who had a vast experience in managing educational institutions, she said that she could offer education: as cancer treatment spans a period of three years in the average and will often force children to be away of their schools and normal lives; as such, she suggested establishing a school in the Hospital so that children would not miss out on their schooling education during their long treatment period. Dr. Abouel Naga responded promptly and started the implementation.
Establishing the school
After allocating three rooms in the Hospital for the school, Dr. Askar followed the American educational system which depends on home education. She allocated a room for elementary education, another for the preparatory cycle and a third one for high school education. She met with the Hospital’s social workers to set up a schedule and a system for the school. Hence she selected a group of teachers who expressed their desire to help and enthusiasm and readiness for the difficult mission. One issue remained to be solved: who would remunerate the teachers? So, she met with her school board, Modern School Egypt, MSE, and said: “I have a big dream, I need you to consider that I hired six new teachers and I need the school to pay their salaries”. The board agreed immediately. Hence, “MSE 57357” school was established, and a slogan was written on the three allocated rooms, “they treat and we educate”. In cooperation with Dr. Abouel Naga, the teachers were given courses on how to deal with a student with cancer, since the treatment affects the student’s concentration, absorption and response,;as such, the teacher needs special education methods.
Each room was dedicated for an educational stage. In the elementary room, students of this stage would meet every day, where for the first elementary year students would meet from 8 am to 10 am, for the second elementary year from 10 am to 1 pm, and so on. Hence, a schedule was set up for the teachers with strict attendance times. The Hospital offered the entire studying curriculum books and block notes. Dr. Askar asked MSE school’s department heads to visit the Hospital once a week to supervise the educational process and the students’ performance in all educational stages, as well as to evaluate the teachers’ performance and provide her with a monthly report.
Dr. Askar made an agreement with Alsayeda Zienab educational administration to assign a representative to supervise the exams, where the administration would hold exams in 57357’s school concomitantly with the original school. Hence, the certificates are to be issued by the MSE administration only for transfer years. As for the preparatory and high school certificate years , the exam should come from the educational administration to which the student belongs, consequently, 57357 school may receive exams from 18 governorates on the same day, and the Hospital’s corridors surrounding the school room would be converted to exam committees under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, and monitored by Alsayeda Zienab educational administration.
The role of the school in increasing the rate of children’s recovery
Doctors and teachers reports affirm the school’s role in increasing the recovery rate and improving the mental and psychological state of children in all educational stages, since the child does not feel isolated from his counterparts, and the long treatment period is no more a barrier that hinders him from carrying on his schooling education.
School students from Arab countries
In the beginning the in-hospital school was restricted to Egyptian students, until the administration was surprised by a group of student families from Arab countries whose children are receiving treatment in the Hospital, asking to enroll their children in the school. The obstacle here was that teachers were not acquainted with these countries’ curriculums. The first two students were coming from Libya and Sudan, hence families gave their curriculum to the teachers who familiarized themselves with it and taught it to students who were able then to take their own country’s exams.
Children’s exam results
Continuing their studying during the period of their stay in the Hospital had great effect on students’ psychological condition and their response to treatment. The school was one of the important aspects that contributed to lifting up children’s morale, which reflected on their response to treatment and the speed of their recovery. The better they feel after treatment, the more insistent they become to excel in their studies. Hence, most of them became doctors and engineers, meanwhile some of them chose to pay 57357 back by working for it.