Uganda Women’s Cancer Support Organization UWOCASO is a local NGO registered in 2007 and a membership organization with an established secretariat, Board of Directors and a strong network of volunteers. UWOCASO was started in 2004 by five women breast cancer survivors with an objective of raising awareness so that women can adopt practices of Breast Self Examination (BSE) regular screening and reporting early for treatment. In addition it was created to offer psycho-social support to breast and cervical cancer patients and their families. Over the years UWOCASO has expanded to engage with all cancers affecting women and membership has grown to include all women who have survived or living with cancers.
UWOCASO has grown from five members at its creation to 100 members today and many of the members are active volunteers with the organization. UWOCASO believes in early detection, increasing survival and improving the quality of life of those living with the disease. Current key interventions include: counseling; patient support including providing prosthesis, bras and lymphadema sleeves and income generating activities; awareness creation; advocacy; research and organizational sustainability. UWOCASO uses a number of different mechanisms for carrying out its interventions, these include community outreaches, facility and home based services, support groups, cancer campaigns, and media both print and electronic such as radio and television discussions, amongst others. Although UWOCASO has no current strategic plan, activities have been guided by the 2010-2013 strategic plan.
In 2016, UWOCASO enrolled into the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Strengthening Organizations for a United Response to Cancer Epidemic (SOURCE) program. The program aims to strengthen cancer organizations and networks in LMIC so that they can implement a more effective and collaborative responses to the local burden.
UWOCASO is a fully registered and pro-active member of Uganda Cancer Society (UCS) and has served on UCS Board since 2011. It is also partners with American Cancer Society (ACS), UCI, MoH, Uganda Non Communicable Disease Alliance (UNCDA), Uganda Women’s Health Initiative, Uganda Golf club, Mandela Group of Companies, Women Empowerment Cancer Advocacy Network (WECAN),Oncology for Africa (AFRON), and Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) amongst others
UWOCASO is supported by a number of donors both national and international. Currently the national donors are largely corporate and include members of Uganda Golf Club, Mandela group of companies and Bank of Uganda. Being members of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), UWOCASO benefited from Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) challenge grant for research which supports two staff and builds capacity of members in research ethics. Oncology for Africa (AFRON) has supported UWOCASO during the last five years to mobilize communities for screening and early detection of breast and cervical cancers. There are several individuals both local and international who have greatly supported UWOCASO activities.
Since 2007 UWOCASO has recorded some notable achievements and successes and now is at the point where it needs to expand and grow to be able to impact on more lives and make a substantive contribution towards reducing the burden of cancer affecting women and girls in Uganda. This strategic plan (2017-2021) building on the strategic plan 2010-2013 lays out the strategic direction that UWOCASO should take in the coming five years.
All women in Uganda free from cancer burden.
To fight cancer in Uganda by empowering women at risk of and/or living with cancer, their families, and communities through the provision of appropriate and evidence-based information and best practices, awareness, supportive care and advocacy.
Accountability and Transparency: We are accountable to our team of (volunteers, staff, and Board), our members and stakeholders and we are committed to remaining transparent in all operations at all times.
Integrity: We carry out all our duties with high moral and ethical standards acceptable by our members, clients, and others.
Participatory: We accord all members, volunteers and the community equal opportunities to participate in activities and programs of the organisation.
Volunteerism: We recognize and appreciate the support and commitment of volunteers as an essential element to our work and we seek to empower them in their work
Efficiency in resource utilization: We seek to use creative and innovative ways in resource utilisation in order to develop people to their full potential and realize high-quality results and greater impact. We use resources wisely.
Fearlessness and truth-telling about cancer: We strive to create an organisation that is based on the principles of boldness and trust that understand the sensitivity of the disease and accord respect to the values and beliefs of others.
Inclusiveness: We are non-judgemental and shall remain open to all members and volunteers in an equitable manner. We work to ensure that services provided are open to everyone including patients/clients without discrimination
Collective Action: We believe in partnership and collaborations for collective action and services to change the lives of the women at risk of and /or living with cancer for better- no one individual or organisation can do it alone. We respect the unique contribution of each one and will work together to meet our common goal.
To contribute to the reduction of the female cancer burden in Uganda.
- Information and Awareness
- Supportive Care
- Knowledge Building
- Organisation Sustainability