by Sabine Karner, ICCSN representativeMentoring_Switzerland

The mentoring project is currently established in Finland, The Netherlands, Austria, Germany and Sweden. Now the Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivors group is interested to establish it. For this a first workshop was held in Basel (Switzerland) from 16th to 18th of November 2012.

In the last years one project has become more and more interesting and meaningful for survivors – the so called mentoring project or peer support. Former childhood cancer patients become a mentor for a patient currently in the paediatric oncological ward. They visit patients in the hospital and are a communication partner for the patients and sometimes also for other family members.

The aim of this project is to exchange experiences and information about the treatment, social network, school, life priorities, life after cancer and much more. The survivors want to give hope to the patient and support him/her during the treatment.

Until now the mentoring project is established in Finland, The Netherlands, Austria, Germany and Sweden. But having survived cancer does not mean that everybody is ready to go back to the hospital. That is why survivors groups themselves said: we need and want training for this totally different role. Special preparation programmes were established in those five countries. More information about content and scope of these different preparation programmes can be found in this presentation.

Now the “Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivors” group is very interested to establish the mentoring project in Switzerland. The first preparation workshop was held from 16th to 18th of November 2012 in Basel (Switzerland). Five Survivors from Switzerland and one survivor from Liechtenstein attended at this kick-off meeting, which was organised by the Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivors Group, Kinderkrebshilfe Schweiz and Stiftung krebskranke Kinder Regio Basiliensis.

Additionally, from Austria and Germany each two survivors were invited to present their own experiences about the establishment of the mentoring project, the organisation, the structure of the preparation programme and examples and experiences from the field (real life).

Time flew and the inspired and motivated survivors from Switzerland and Liechtenstein could gain a lot of information and ideas for the next steps to establishing the mentoring project in Switzerland during this weekend.
Find more pictures here.