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Millions of illiterate women will be able to recognise breast cancer with a new mobile app

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Millions of illiterate women will be able to recognise breast cancer with a new mobile app



Affoltern a.A., Canton of Zurich, XX. June 2018 – The app will be published free of charge in Arabic, English, Hebrew, French and Spanish and will inform women who are unable to read and/or do not have access to medical examinations about how this disease can be combated through early detection. The app has been developed by The DEAR Foundation, one of Switzerland’s largest private charitable foundations for development aid. On 3 October 2018, the foundation invites you to the launch of the app and the premiere of the documentary “Dear Mamma” at the National Museum Zürich.


“The DEAR Foundation” is launching this awareness campaign, which is aimed especially at Africa, Latin America and Asia, without sponsorship or support from the pharmaceutical industry. However, there is a growing number of migrant women in Europe who have no reading skills and lack the required self-confidence to take control of their health. The launch of this new app therefore has two main objectives: To convey medical knowledge and easy-to-understand basic knowledge about breast cancer using pictures, and to remove the taboos around women who have breast cancer, women who undergo chemotherapy, and women who have undergone breast amputation due to disease (mastectomy). “These women need to understand that misplaced shame can be deadly and that even today, self-examination is still one of the most effective measures against breast cancer – and it’s one that’s available to all women all over the world, because it’s free,” says Sonja Dinner, President of the Foundation and initiator of the breast cancer awareness app.

But bringing this knowledge to these women in the right way is key. Often, they are unable to access relevant, life-saving information in a format that they can understand.


“With this app, we are fighting against the stigma that women face in areas with low levels of education and patriarchal societal structures,” says Sonja Dinner. “Because the female breast and touching one’s own body are still taboo topics in many countries, it’s important to convey the message that any woman in the world could potentially develop breast cancer, and that there is no vaccination against it.”


The most important measure that the poorest women can take is to perform regular self-examinations so that if the disease occurs, it can be detected and treated as soon as possible. With this in mind, the foundation has developed an app intended for women without reading skills that gives precise instructions in five languages (Arabic, English, Hebrew, French and Spanish) on how to perform a self-examination by feeling for abnormalities, and on what measures to take in an emergency.


With regard to the importance of the app and its educational effect, Sonja Dinner says: “Breast cancer is one of the most common causes of death for women. Well over 500,000 women die from it each year. They are often the breadwinners for their children, and the number of children they have is often large. It is simply unthinkable that so many women die needlessly due to a lack of knowledge or misplaced shame, leaving behind countless orphans. Because most of these women have hardly any purchasing power, they are simply forgotten by health systems. The aim of our app is to help women develop a healthy self-awareness and take responsibility for themselves and their health.”


A date for your diary 

On 3 October 2018, “The DEAR Foundation” will be unveiling the app for the first time and will be showing the documentary “Dear Mamma” at the National Museum Zürich. The film is intended to raise awareness among the world’s poorest women: “Dear Mamma – A Worldwide Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign for the Poorest and Illiterate Women”. Please see the attached “Save the Date” regarding this.


Picture legend: Sonja Dinner with two women from Ethiopia.


The DEAR Foundation

The DEAR Foundation (TDF) is one of the largest Swiss charitable foundations for development aid and is based in Affoltern am Albis in the Canton of Zurich in Switzerland. Its main objective is to support children and women in the areas of education, health, and self-determination, to support disabled people and raise awareness of issues affecting them, and to facilitate religious and cultural dialogue. Since it was founded in 2006, TDF has implemented well over 500 projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Russia, and Israel/Palestine in cooperation with local partners and NGOs. The projects are developed, coordinated and managed by a team of around 200 on-site project workers and 10 team members working at the TDF premises in Zurich, Jerusalem, and Monrovia. The foundation is financially independent, but it gladly accepts bequests and donations in order to further expand its sphere of activity. 100% of any donations made go into the projects because the foundation covers all administrative costs itself. More information can be found at www.thedearfoundation.ch


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