MEDIA INFORMATION – The world’s first breast cancer education app for women who can neither read nor write

For over ten years, the Swiss charity The DEAR Foundation (TDF) and its president Sonja Dinner have been committed to lifting the taboo on breast cancer. Every day, Sonja Dinner is confronted with the consequences that this insidious disease has for women and their children for whom preventive medicine is still out of reach. Self-examination of the breasts and the resulting early detection of breast cancer can save lives. This situation has prompted Sonja Dinner to develop a prevention app, the first of its kind in the world, which will be unveiled on 3 October in Zurich. She wants to use it to reach a billion women across the globe, one million of them in the first year of the project.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 – Breast cancer is one of the most feared diseases among women – and one of the most common. It has a huge effect on families, and the reason why is clear: breast cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed types of cancer in women worldwide. The statistics speak for themselves. 500–700 thousand die from it every year. Women with breast cancer living in patriarchal societies especially fear losing their breasts, which are considered one of the key features of their femininity. Many fear that they will be rejected by their husbands, resulting in them being cast out of their families and communities.

Since 2017 TDF has been developing the first mobile app for mobile devices that educates women who cannot read all over the world about breast cancer and how to prevent it using clear instructions: don’t panic, stay calm and check yourself. This mobile app, which can reach women even in the remotest regions of the world, is now ready for practical use and will be presented to the public on 3 October in Zurich (at the State Museum) from 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. with an impressive film entitled ‘Dear Mamma’. Renowned international and national personalities will speak about breast cancer. The novel app is intended to help generate awareness of how important it is to detect breast cancer early, and it will do so by making the information accessible in a visual and acoustic format. Educating women is the key to the future because women are the backbone of society.

Many women find it difficult to talk about their disease. There is a lack of education, and taboos hinder practical access to self-administered cancer prevention measures, especially for women who can neither read nor write. How can a woman possibly determine whether there is a lump forming in her breast if she is forbidden to inspect it by touch for cultural or religious reasons? How can she know whether the lump growing in her breast is a disease?

The app conveys the medical information using highly accessible images, videos, and spoken texts in different languages. It explains how and when self-examination of the breast should be carried out in a clear and easy to understand way.

What does The DEAR Foundation do?

Sonja Dinner is the founder and President of The DEAR Foundation Switzerland (TDF), which is one of the largest private development aid foundations in Switzerland. TDF is financially independent and has no commercial interests.

Since more than 12 years, TDF has been working intensively to help women and children in need around the globe. In the last 10 years, TDF has supported over 500 projects in cooperation with local partners and NGOs in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Russia and Israel.

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 assist and encourage disabled people 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 the Middle East 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 on 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. One hundred per cent of any donations made go into the projects because the foundation covers all administrative costs itself.