MAHAK won the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) World Cancer Day (WCD) Spirit Award as one of the 1100 member organizations of this union for the campaign it launched in February 2020 to raise awareness about cancer.
MAHAK joins UICC’s WCD annual campaign every February since 2016 in order to contribute meaningfully toward accomplishing the third Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations which targets good health and wellbeing. Accordingly, MAHAK has continuously planned to raise awareness regarding cancer, in particular early detection and cancer control, in addition to sharing the needs and concerns of patients with cancer with the society at large.
Among the 1100 members of UICC, MAHAK and four other cancer-centric organizations from Singapore, Kenya, Nigeria and Cyprus were shortlisted as finalists and their 2020 campaigns were reviewed and evaluated for the WCD Spirit award. UICC’s final judgement ascertains that MAHAK’s 2020 campaign target to raise awareness toward cancer among different strata of the society throughout the country has been successful and, thus, worthy of receiving the top award granted by this esteemed global association.
Arasb Ahmadian, the CEO of MAHAK addressing the missions of NGOs in awareness-raising stated: "NGOs and charities dedicated to supporting patients play the critical role of raising awareness regarding prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and support requirements, and overall trepidations of patients in order to obviate the fundamental concerns related to illnesses by relying on the capacities of civil society. MAHAK main objective for joining UICC’s WCD campaign was to raise awareness toward early diagnosis of pediatric cancer with the aim to reduce associated discomforts and expenses while raising treatment effectiveness.”
The CEO of MAHAK who in addition has been shortlisted for UICC CEO of the year award noted:” The main reason for the family of MAHAK receiving the 2020 World Cancer Day Spirit Award was its successful attempt to marshal in a united fashion the tremendous civil society capacity of various societal groups in caring for their fellow beings. The ability to bring together the support of over 150 artists and athletes, business entities, public-service providers, shopping centers, schools, volunteers, donors and MAHAK’s staff underscored a unique and multidisciplinary capacity for delivering the message of the WCD campaign obtained the global attention required for receiving UICC’s WCD Spirit Award.”
Ahmadian continued: ”Just as we announced in February 2020 the illumination of Azadi Tower in orange color as a symbol of Tehran joining the WCD campaign of raising awareness toward cancer, we must now announce that this success should sincerely be contributed to all philanthropists who for close to 30 years have through their trust and support ensured the aspirations of MAHAK founders in saving the lives and children with cancer becoming reality. We hope that in the coming February, we will not only globalize the voice of Iranians in the World Cancer Day campaign, but we will also demonstrate that all members of MAHAK’s ever-growing family are well-aware that supporting cancer patients shall never be hindered even during such difficult circumstances as Coronavirus pandemic has brought upon us.”
The award winner was announced in a virtual meeting attended by UICC members from around the world, followed by a congratulatory message delivered by Dr. Anil D’Cruz, President of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). He stated: ”It is very significant and noteworthy that a non-governmental organization from a country which is coping with sanctions while continuing to deliver such high quality services to its stakeholders has been nominated in two sections (CEO Award and World Cancer Day Spirit Award.)”
MAHAK believes this message belongs to all Iranians who through their steadfast support for cancer-stricken children during the past 30 years have convinced all of us that cancer is not the end of life.