Robots remain available for long-term sick children through Allies program

Robots remain available for long-term sick children through Allies program

‘Bondgenoten’ robots stand on their own feet now

Through the ‘Bondgenoten’ program children with long-term illness can lend an AV1 robots so that they can stay in touch with friends, school and family while they are in hospital or recovering at home.

The Child and Hospital Foundation has set up an effective and professional loan procedure with good guidance for parents, children and teachers when using the robots. Child and Hospital has also managed to increase awareness of the program among schools, parents, health care and government.

In 2018, the collaboration started with a design competition for the robot and a teaching program to raise awareness of the robot for sick children among schools. Every child who borrows a robot can customize his or her robot with the sticker sheet of the winning design. The program started with 20 robots and later 5 extra robots were bought with donations from the Connect Run. In 2020, the 25 robots were loaned to 51 children.

The robots have a lot of impact on the lives of sick children. As Marleen, the mother of Ilias (9 years old), describes: “What the robot has meant for our family is indescribable. Educational, social and emotional. Our 'Ili bone' ensured that Ilias could keep up with the curriculum, maintain his social contacts with classmates and have a very close relationship with his grandmother in the last period of her life." In addition, watch the short video about how Puck keeps in touch with her class.

After a successful 3.5-year collaboration between the Vodafone Foundation and the Child and Hospital Foundation, the ‘Bondgenoten’ robots can now stand on their own feet. Child and Hospital will continue and expand the‘Bondgenoten’ program independently so that children with a long-term illness stay supported with the help of the robots in the future and in this way promote social inclusion.

The Vodafone Foundation contributes to a (digital) inclusive society. The focus is on promoting digital skills and using technology for society. In collaboration with partners, the Vodafone Foundation develops programs that contribute to this. After a number of years, programs continue independently by the cooperation partner. In close consultation with the partner, we work towards such a moment in which the Foundation supports the partner towards the independence phase.

Vodafone will continue to financially support Child and Hospital and the ‘Bondgenoten’ program with donations from the Vodafone MB Donations.