Hospitalisation is a source of distress for children: besides suffering and being afraid, they are separated from parents and friends in a place with little opportunity for distraction and entertainment. Professional artists, trained by Fondation Théodora to work in hospitals, dress up as Doctor Dreams and bring a smile to children treated in Turkish hospitals. Laughter and joy help them and their families through this difficult period.
In 2016, 4 hours every week, 7 Sevgi Doktorları (Doctor Dreams), trained by Fondation Théodora and supported by Alta Mane, “visited” approximately 8’000 children affected by severe illness and staying for a long period in either Çapa (Istanbul) or Hacettepe hospitals (Ankara) where many children come from disadvantaged or refugee families.
Fondation Théodora was founded in Switzerland in 1993. Its Doctor Dreams’ programs are now present in 7 countries. Théodora trains professional artists to offer real support to children and their family throughout the difficult period of hospitalisation with games and a sympathetic ear. Artists involved in the Doctor Dreams’ programme receive continuous training, including artistic, psychological and therapeutic components. This guarantees a high quality service to hospitalised children and optimal collaboration with the hospital staff in accordance with the codes of conduct. Theodora is in Turkey since 1998. In 2016, it established an association: Theodora Çocuk Hizmetleri Derneği (Theodora Children’s Services Association). Théodora can count on 10 Sevgi Doktorlari (Dream Doctors) operating in 6 hospitals and a centre for people with disabilities in Istanbul and an hospital in Ankara. In 2016, they “visited” 26’000 hospitalised children in Turkey.
Between 2006 and 2013, Fondation Alta Mane also supported Théodora Doctor Dreams’ visits at the Paediatric Oncology Hospital in Bern (link), in Italy from 2006 to 2011 (link) and in 5 hospitals of the Ticino Canton from 2014 to 2015 (link).