Mathiwos, the third and youngest son of his parents, Mr. Wondu Bekele and Mrs. Amsale Beyene, was born on June 17, 1999, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He was diagnosed with ALL-type Leukemia after he turned two and was under intensive care at Black Lion Hospital, the only cancer treating hospital in Ethiopia, for 26 months. Despite the valiant efforts of his family, physicians, and nurses, Mathiwos lost his battle with cancer in 2003 at the tender age of four. The parents of Mathiwos forming a cancer society are their way to remember their beloved son and his cause, and to express their thanks to God for all the opportunities He gave them to help their son in every way humanly possible, leaving the rest to the will of God.
Although grief stricken, the parents of Mathiwos and founding members made a vow to continue to support other families with children diagnosed with cancer in an effort to spare them from hopelessness a parent feels when he or she is not able to help or save their child.The Mathiwos Wondu-YeEthiopia Cancer Society (MWECS) was established at the first General Assembly meeting of the founding members held on April 17, 2004. Our Society secured its legal personality through a certificate of registration bearing the number 1382.
Our Society began its quest by focusing its initial efforts on pediatric cancer. Our organization was established by the parents of Mathiwos and 13 other founding members. It was established to celebrate the heroic struggles that Mathiwos had made against cancer and to extend helping hands for cancer patients. Initially, our Society focused on pediatric cancer patients,but now widening our attention and working on women cancer including cervical and breast cancer. We are also working on major cancer risk factors such as Tobacco. Our society is also one of leading founding members of Consortium of Ethiopian NCD Association/CENCDA/ & Ethiopian Civil society Health Forum/ECSHF/.
Our organization has a General Assembly and a Board of Directors, which consists of 1,500 and 7 members respectively. The General Assembly is the highest decision-making organ within our organizational set–up, whilst the Board of Directors give strategic leadership on strategic issues. Some of the board members are public figures in the country because of their immense contributions in the social and economic sphere.25 staffs are currently working on a full-time basis and we have more than 500 volunteers. Our Society has several operational and system manuals to guide its activities.
Our society formed by Mathiwos’s family & founders who managed to transform the tragedy faced by the loss of Mathiwos who lost his battle with cancer into opportunity in the living room of Mathiwos family residence, today implement seven projects, one on childhood cancer, one on breast cancer, three on tobacco, one on lung cancer & one on non-communicable diseases & injury.
MWECS is one of the most respected & trusted NGOs of its kind, received three international awards in 2017/2018/2010 Ethiopia Calendar/ alone and received another Warrior Against Cancer award on August 28,2019 in Durban, South Africa & I am one of the six recipients of World NO Tobacco Day Award 2020 from World Health Organization/WHO/ from Africa region.
At the present, we are supporting more than 360 cancer patients & their care givers of which 96 childhood,86 cervical & breast cancer patients. The society covers cost of transport from and to their regions, medicines and diagnostic laboratory services not provided by the Tikur Anbessa Hospital, and food support while the patients are under treatment at the hospital, provide education support to selected childhood cancer patients, provide psychosocial support including transport, food accommodation at our 24 beds Psychosocial Support Center, education to cancer patients & their care givers in between treatments.
Monitoring & Evaluation Director
Psycho-Social Support Center Nurse
Logistics & Finance Officer
General Service Head