It is a fact that sociocultural factors determine taboos. Taboos then can lead to restrictions, which in turn may affect the application and acceptance of various health measures. This is especially true with regard to women’s health.

Sonja Dinner from The DEAR Foundation knows a thing or two about cultural taboos surrounding breast cancer and self-examination. We are very happy that she agreed to speak with us in the run-up to International Women’s Day on March 8.


Sonja, first of all, would you please tell us about The DEAR Foundation’s mission and vision?

We are a financially independent charitable foundation capable of acting quickly and flexibly. 15 employees at offices in Zurich, Jerusalem and Monrovia as well as some 200 local project staff develop, steer, coordinate and manage our projects. As a lean non-governmental organization (NGO), we support women and children around the globe directly and improve their precarious situations.

Our fields of action are mainly in education, health, child protection, women’s rights, economic empowerment, and support of peaceful coexistence between religions.

The vision of The DEAR Foundation is a world without poverty and that all people can lead a self-determined life. Therefore, our mission is implementing projects to improve education, health and socioeconomic empowerment – especially for women and children to break the cycle of poverty.


I would especially like to hear about one project The DEAR Foundation initiated: the DearMamma App. What does this app do and why should every woman have this app on her smartphone?

The free DearMamma App in 13 languages provides help for learning how to do a regular self-check of your breasts, guides you through self-examination and helps you set reminders for your next self-check. As breast cancer is not preventable, early detection is key to avoid death! Therefore: Regular self-examination can save your life!

The earlier breast cancer is treated, the more likely it can be cured. Regular breast checks can help you detect abnormalities earlier and get treatment faster.


What else is The DEAR Foundation doing regarding women’s health?

The DEAR Foundation has various projects worldwide to improve women’s health. For example, we support psychosocial and medical care for young women in Burkina Faso or offer out-patient medical care to the rural population in Haiti. Furthermore, we have been supporting the construction and design of a breast center at the EMEK Medical Center, Israel. This is just a small extract from all our projects to ensure women’s health.

At this year’s “Schweizer Frauenlauf” (Swiss Women’s Run) in Bern we take part as the main charity partner and hope to motivate many women in Switzerland to care for their health – and to extend the awareness for breast cancer.


What is The DEAR Foundation planning for this year’s International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day is important because more people can learn about our partners’ activities through their events. The DEAR Foundation plans to share these events through social media so that the positive changes for women worldwide get the attention they deserve.

Women play an important role in every community across the world. The DEAR Foundation appreciates this and supports them daily through local partner organizations so women can fulfill these roles and achieve more! We remain committed to positive change for women’s health, rights, safety, and empowerment.


Many thanks for the interview and for your time!

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