The Role of NGOs in Addressing Childhood Cancer

The Role of NGOs in Addressing Childhood Cancer

Childhood cancer is an alarming issue, affecting countless children worldwide each year. Understanding the factors contributing to its prevalence and the measures needed to combat it can be complicated. This article aims to explain the vital role played by NGOs in addressing childhood cancer.

What Are NGOs?

Before delving into the details, it's essential to understand what NGOs are. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are nonprofit groups that function independently from the government. They can be local, national, or international, dedicated to various causes ranging from human rights to environmental issues. Depending on certain circumstances (like where they are located), they may also be called nonprofit organizations or charities.

The Types of NGOs and Their Functions

There are diverse types of NGOs, each with its specific focus and approach. Some may concentrate on advocacy, while others might focus more on developmental work. There are also various classifications like international NGOs (INGOs) and environmental NGOs (ENGOs).

When it comes to addressing childhood cancer, health-focused NGOs play a significant role. They might provide direct care, run awareness campaigns, fund research, or support patients and their families.

What Do NGOs Do in the Context of Childhood Cancer?

You might wonder what NGOs do to help tackle childhood cancer. The answer lies in a multi-pronged approach that includes education, research, support, medical care, and advocacy.

1. Education: NGOs are vital in raising awareness about childhood cancer. They provide communities with much-needed information about early warning signs, available treatments, and post-therapy care.

2. Research: Many NGOs fund or conduct studies to advance our understanding of childhood cancers and devise innovative treatments.

3. Support: NGOs often provide emotional, social, and financial support to affected children and their families. They may offer counseling services, organize support groups, and help families navigate the complex healthcare systems.

4. Medical Care: Some NGOs also provide direct medical care to patients. They may run hospitals or clinics, provide telemedicine services, or work in collaboration with other healthcare providers to ensure children have access to the best available treatments.

5. Advocacy: NGOs lobby for policy changes to improve access to care, enhance research funding, and protect the rights of children battling cancer.

Are NGOs Effective in the Fight Against Childhood Cancer?

This leads us to the crucial question: “Are NGOs effective in their mission?” The answer is yes. NGOs' multifaceted roles make them indispensable in the battle against childhood cancer. They fill gaps in healthcare systems, foster a support network for families, and contribute significantly to research and advocacy efforts.

Understanding how prevalent pediatric cancer is, it's clear that the role of NGOs in addressing this issue is crucial. Despite the substantial progress made, there's still much to be done. As childhood cancer remains a pressing global issue, NGOs' roles in combating this disease will continue to be vital. As members of society, we can lend our support by donating, volunteering, and spreading awareness about these organizations' impactful work.

The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) continues to provide humanitarian aid and medical relief to children and their families—some of whom are refugees fleeing their home countries—through our pediatric cancer departments, humanitarian aid programs and projects, pediatric mental health initiatives, hospital infrastructure projects, orphan and refugee sponsorships, medical sponsorships, treatment abroad program, and medical missions. These efforts help to ensure that children in need get the vital assistance they require.

PCRF has a committee of volunteer doctors and specialists on our Medical Advisory Board who are dedicated to building up services through training, programs, and guiding PCRF to improve the quality of pediatric care in Palestine, Lebanon, and other areas in the Middle East.


In 2013, we opened the Huda Al Masri Pediatric Cancer Department in the West Bank, which is focused on providing world-class care for children battling cancer in the region. The department focuses on comprehensive care, including staff training and addressing social needs, all to ensure that our young patients have the best fighting chance against this devastating disease.

In 2019, we opened the Dr. Musa and Suhaila Nasir Pediatric Cancer Department, which serves as a beacon of hope for children with cancer in the Gaza Strip. This facility is the first of its kind in Gaza, eliminating the need for young patients to travel far from family for treatment. The department offers comprehensive care that includes a range of amenities, like a playroom and pharmacy. Our unique child-life services — including tutoring — further support our young patients during their challenging journey.


PCRF is not a political or religious organization. Our mission is to provide medical and humanitarian relief collectively and individually to Arab children throughout the Middle East, regardless of their nationality, politics, or religion. We rely on charitable giving to provide medical treatment, surgeries, safety, shelter, and support to children and their families in Palestine and the Levant. Find out how you can get involved and help make a difference in children’s lives today!