A non-profit foundation focusing on helping children with cancer, YKAI collaborates with pediatricians to ensure proper care and treatment are given.
Cancer is the leading cause of death for children and adolescents around the world, including Indonesia. In and around Jakarta’s population of around 12 million souls, there is approximately 650 pediatric cancer patients per year. Zooming out to Indonesia and its 200 million inhabitants, there are about 11,000 new cases per year, most of which are from underprivileged families.
Yayasan Kanker Anak Indonesia (YKAI), or the Indonesian Pediatric Cancer Foundation was established to help and care for pediatric cancer patients from underprivileged families to ease the burden both on the patient and the parents with a programme called Senyum Anak Sehat Indonesia (The Smile of Healthy Indonesian Children). The program consists of treatment, medication, transportation and entertainment.
“Starting in 2010, YKAI has helped more than 900 children with cancer. We collect money from certain activities, such as family and social gatherings from as little as IDR 50,000, and we also receive car donations for transportation. We also broadcast information to encourage our friends to help the children. The collected money is used for treatment and medication,” Sallyana Sorongan, Founder of YKAI, explained.
Donated cars—including an ambulance from President Joko Widodo—are used to run a transportation programme where the foundation provides a service for children unable to use public transportatio due to their weak conditions. They will be picked up at home and taken to the hospital, and delivered back home afterwards.
Sallyana also said that the foundation also offers a Parenting Support Group programme, which gives patients’ parents refreshing activities in Fatmawati hospital. These activities vary from yoga classes, line dance classes, as well as arts and crafts class in order to get education as well as entertainment.
“We have an ongoing dream to build a training centre, much like a shelter home, offering various classes. Children undergoing long term treatment and medication will definitely find it difficult to attend school properly, hence, the training centre will ensure they continue to receive education informally. In addition, we are keen to provide cooperative stores selling medicine, with profits dedicated to helping children with class three BPJS (social insurance),” Sallyana added with determination in her eyes.