COMEDY RELIEF: Puppeteer, Alice Keohavong communicates powerful messages about cancer support to children through performance
COMEDY RELIEF: Puppeteer, Alice Keohavong communicates powerful messages about cancer support to children through performance Trevor Veale

Laughter helps nurture cancer support

COFFS Coast schools were treated to a fun-filled puppet show this week by Camp Quality with the aim of supporting kids who live with or know someone with cancer.

The show is part of Camp Quality's Primary School Education Program aims to help educate teachers and students how to be understanding of kids and people living with cancer in an effort to prevent bullying and exclusion.

One of the show's puppeteers, Alice Keohavong explained the performance is about the journey of Kylie returning to school after Leukaemia treatment and how her friends help her through that process.

By providing a light-hearted environment to portray messages of confidence, resilience and inclusion, Ms Keohavong said the show aims to normalise the word 'cancer' and de-mystify anxieties associated with the disease.

"It give the kids enough distance and enjoy the show without feeling too confronted by the similarities in their stories," Ms Keohavong said.

The puppet show ends in a question and answer session which Ms Keohavong says enables kids to talk about their own experiences with cancer.

"After the show, we often get kids who pipe up and say 'my mum had cancer or my grandma had cancer or my grandpa and they really do connect with the story," Keohavong

Principal of Coffs Harbour Public School, Leonie Buehler said the performance is a wonderful way to discuss a difficult issue in a supportive environment.

Ms Bueler said the show will have different impact on children on all year levels and walks of life.

"We do have one student here whose sibling did pass away from cancer so it's probably going to have a different impact on him when he sees the show," she said.

Camp Quality has run the Primary School Education Program for 27 years in schools across Australia.



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