Hope 4 Cancer Kids [HCK] was founded in 2008 by James Nyaga, the father of a child fighting cancer at Kenyatta National Hospital [KNH]. As a result of his own experience as a parent, facing denial and shock at his child receiving a cancer diagnosis, he decided to approach the management of KNH to arrange a Family Fun Day. The objective was to provide families with some levity during a very serious time, and to allow children to forget, for one day, that they were fighting for their lives in an oftentimes very painful way.
The Family Fun Day provided far more than levity – siblings gained a better understanding of the struggles that paediatric cancer patients face; families reconnected and relaxed; the cancer stigma was unmasked. So, HCK expanded to hold the Family Fun Day on a regular basis, and developed other regular activities like a parents’ support group.
After his son’s death, Mr. Nyaga was, understandably, no longer in a position to lead the organization, and the rest of the Board of HCK stepped in to make long-term decisions and run the day-to-day operations of the organization. There have been organizational changes over the years as HCK developed.
Since 2011, HCK has focused on providing NHIF funding for children receiving treatment at KNH, as well as other supportive services for families. While they have been very successful in assisting families, and encouraging them to continue treatment, the Board of HCK realized the need to take a strategic look at current programs and find ways to make sure their work remains mission-focused and time-efficient. Therefore, they embarked on the strategic planning process from March to May 2013, culminating in the development of a strategic planning framework.
This was further developed into a strategic plan 2017-2021 by the board and HCK secretariat with the guidance of American Cancer Society(ACS) SOURCE Program, through Steps Ahead Consulting.