As a response to the increased cases of Cancer, Joyline Chepkorir, a young Kenyan lady from Kericho decided to form a non-profit organization in 2017 named Let’s Fight Cancer: Screen it and Suppress It. Joyline, leads a team of six ladies committed to help marginalized women get access to cancer services at an earlier stage. The ladies are Mercy Moi, Hycinth Cherotich, Joan Chepkoech, Willad Nahashon, Lidwin Chepngetich and Bernice Chepkemoi.
According to 2018 research done in Kenya by Research 8020 Limited, about 37,000 new cases are diagnosed annually in the country, which makes up 0.26 percent of the world cases. Common among women are breast and cervical cancer. Sadly, Many cases of women diagnosed with breast and cervical cancer in Kenya present themselves at late stages, making it hard for them to get full treatment. In most cases, these are women from Kenya’s marginalized communities. A report by the Ministry of Health indicates that cancer is the third leading cause of death in Kenya, after HIV and cardiovascular diseases accounting for 7 percent of annual deaths.
Joyline had this to say about her organization, “A marginalized woman in Kenya is one who is probably illiterate, has no health insurance, and lives on less than Ksh100 ($1.00) per day. She is a subsistence farmer who has little food to feed her family the whole year, and has no access to clean water. I want to address cancer because of its alarming rise and because it affects almost every family in Kenya. According to the Kenyan Ministry of Health, cancer is the third leading cause of death in the country after HIV and cardiovascular diseases, accounting for seven percent of annual deaths.”
Let’s Fight Cancer: Screen It and Suppress It won the Resolution Social Venture Challenge in 2018, a competition that rewards compelling leadership and promising social ventures led by youth. These young leaders earned a fellowship that includes seed funding, mentorship, and access to a network of young global change-makers to pursue impactful projects in their communities. A collaboration between the MasterCard Foundation and The Resolution Project, the Resolution Social Venture Challenge provides a pathway to action for socially responsible young leaders who want to create change that matters in their communities.
After winning the award, Joyline had this to say, “Being one of the winners of the Social Venture Challenge is an honour and I feel empowered to bring positive change in health care, particularly in the fight against cancer. With the seed funding from the Resolution fellowship, we are now able to run our project and take it to the next level. I am also grateful to my able team of six for their commitment to beating cancer. We hope to continue with the project until we are able to establish a cancer centre in Kericho County and provide services to thousands of patients from other counties in Kenya.”