Tech Gadgets

What ArtPass and the T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge Are Doing To Help Children Conquer Their Fear of the Hospital In Developing Countries

This is a sponsored post by T-Mobile.

I remember learning of my niece Savvy having a brain tumor and the number of tests, surgeries, and consultations she had undergone in order for the children's hospital to remove the tumor. I can't imagine being a kid having to deal with numerous life threatening health issues, let alone in a hospital. She's been through multiple surgeries, and it was after the second surgery that Savvy woke up in a panic that she couldn't see anything — Savvy had lost her vision.

It's been almost a year since her last surgery and I'm happy to report that her recent MRI showed no tumor! Her vision did not return, however, we are staying faithful and hoping that she can one day see again.

Albeit she was a trooper and endured every prick, poke, probe, and test; not all children have handle hospital stays very well.

I learned that one of kid's four biggest fears was the hospital and that anxiety and fear is heightened in developing countries. Because of the isolation kids endure in hospitals in developed countries and because of the horrible conditions and quality of life in hospitals in developing countries, a huge stigma surrounds hospitalization and many kids are afraid to seek out medical attention.

This past Spring, the Un-carrier launched the Changemaker Challenge – a nationwide search focused on finding and supporting trailblazing teens and young adults with big ideas around how to create positive long-lasting change in their communities. After months of collecting and reviewing more than 330 unique and creative entries, T-Mobile revealed the top 30 winning teams who now get to visit T-Mobile HQ in Seattle, for a VIP, all expenses paid experience as part of the first ever, T-Mobile Changemaker Lab!

The top 30 selected teams participated in a two-day immersive Changemaker Challenge Lab at T-Mobile’s Headquarters in Seattle on August 19 through 21. They received in-depth mentorship, skills training with T-Mobile senior leadership, collaborated with their fellow Changemakers, a new device, and a portion of $58,000 in seed funding from the T-Mobile Foundation. The ultimate goal: turn their revolutionary ideas into reality! John Legere, the original Un-CEO, also selected his personal “CEO Picks” where winners received a special prize package, created by Legere.

My favorite Changemaker is ArtPass, because it home personally for me. I also learned from the Changemaker Challenge that every single year, 5.4 million kids die from easily treatable diseases such as malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea, but the hospital remains, on average, one of kids four biggest fears.

Malcolm Asher of ArtPass knew that art has incredible healing qualities. His solution was ArtPass, the only nonprofit solely focused on changing how kids perceive and experience the hospital.

Malcolm Asher wrote:
“Through the power of art, we hope to eradicate the stigma surrounding hospitalization, encourage more kids to seek out medical attention, and improve the quality of life, as a whole, in the hospital. We offer two solutions: one domestic and one international. Domestically, we sponsor unique in-hospital art programs called PassALONG and PassPALS that help hospitalized youth not only create art but share their art with other kids in the hospital. Sharing art has been largely overlooked in art therapy and can greatly reduce that isolation kids endure in the hospital while fostering positivity, confidence, and courage. Internationally our #Artfor195 campaign is seeking to make art supplies accessible to kids in all hospitals across the world and to educate and encourage kids to seek out medical attention when they feel symptoms of common yet lethal diseases. By bringing thousands of art supplies to children's hospitals and advocating at schools and in communities in developing areas of the world, we are remolding how kids view the hospital so it doesn't have to be such a scary place.”

To date, ArtPass now has 63 chapters across every continent with programs and initiatives that have reached almost 7,000 hospitalized kids (and they're quickly working towards their goal of reaching 20,000 kids by the end of the year!). They have Global Ambassadors who are going into schools in their local communities to share the work ArtPass is doing and educating those students (ages 4-18) around the importance of seeking out medical attention when symptoms for preventable disease arise.

As an update to the winners of the Changemaker Challenge, after John Legere saw all six top teams pitch their ideas, he decided that instead of two CEO Picks, all six top teams are top winners!!! In addition, Legere announced that he would be making a personal donation of $30,000 to the Top 6 Changemaker Challenge teams – an additional $5,000 per team on top of the $5,000 they have each already received from the T-Mobile Foundation.

All six CEO Picks received another all-expenses-paid trip back to T-Mobile’s Bellevue HQ to super-charge their projects with in-depth mentoring from the T-Mobile legal, marketing and finance teams – and they will each get to appear with John on his Slow Cooker Sunday Facebook show, giving them the chance to create massive awareness and support for their ideas with Legere’s 4+ million viewers!

About T-Mobile’s Changemaker Challenge & Changemaker Lab:
T-Mobile has been changing wireless for good and now the Un-carrier is setting its sights even higher by giving youth some tools to change the world for good! The T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge is a nationwide search to find teens and young adults with big ideas around how to create positive long-lasting change in their communities. After launching the program on March 28 and spending the last few months collecting and reviewing more than 330 unique and creative entries, T-Mobile has revealed the top 30 winning submissions whose teams will get to visit T-Mobile Bellevue, for a VIP, all expenses paid lab and mentoring experience as part of the first ever T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge.

Over the past few months, judges from T-Mobile and Ashoka partnered and reviewed submissions from youth teams (between the ages of 13 and 23) from across the country. Project ideas ranged from building libraries in underdeveloped countries to distributing excess food to hungry people to facilitating conversations between youth and local law enforcement. Winning teams have been selected based on the following criteria:
Changemaker Quality – already taking steps to make a difference
Creativity – fresh, innovative ideas that challenge the norm
Commitment – devoted to seeing their project through, and to make a lasting impact
Connection – ability and openness to work with others in their communities

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