While it might seem like a small victory in the face of the continued adversity in Syria, it marks a significant milestone
Today, Hope Hospital, which was crowdfunded by people from all over the world opens to treat the children of Aleppo.
Last December CanDo spearheaded the People’s Convoy campaign, alongside partners organisations; Across The Divide, Doctors Under Fire, Hand in Hand for Syria, Phoenix Foundation, The Syria Campaign, UOSSM, raising money to rebuild the last children’s hospital that had been bombed out of action in Aleppo.
The campaign resonated with public figures, humanitarian organisations and the public globally and resulted in raising a staggering £246,505 (270% of the fundraising target) in just 14 days, which in addition to rebuilding the hospital, also provided enough funding for six months of running costs.
The convoy departed from Chelsea & Westminster Hospital in London on December 17th 2016 to a buzz of media attention. The heavy goods vehicle carrying the hospital equipment and supplies drove over 2,600 miles passing through France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, before crossing Turkey and finally reaching Turkey’s border with Syria on January 2nd 2017.
With over 4,800 single donations mostly from the UK and USA, the People’s Convoy sent a strong message of solidarity to the Syrian doctors (the Independent Doctors Association) who were rebuilding this children’s hospital for the seventh time after the six previous buildings had been bombed out of action.
Inspired by the public display of generosity and solidarity the IDA decided to name the facility Hope Hospital.
Dr Hatem from The Independent Doctors Association (IDA) said “After evacuating from Aleppo our hearts ached, because we had been building the Children's Hospital in Aleppo for two years and then lost everything. There was something in my heart that said we would have to give up and not work inside a children's hospital again.”
He went on to say “After we saw the People's Convoy, something rebuilt within ourselves. The hope returned to me when I realised that there are people thinking about us and supporting us. It means all the people in the world aim to save children lives wherever they are and whoever they are. It means the world knew what we were doing inside Aleppo: serving the children, the civilians. So we began working hard to build the new children's hospital (Hope Hospital). For us, it represents a new place where we can work and still imagine ourselves back in Aleppo."
CanDo’s Founder and CEO, Dr Rola Hallam also added “‘Hope Hospital’ is a clear victory for humanity. While it might seem like a small victory in the face of the continued adversity in Syria, it marks a significant milestone. From the thousands of supporters and the tens of organisations that endorsed the convoy, to the media supporters and the breath-taking resilience of the IDA team, the achievement is a celebration of the human spirit.”
The hospital will serve Jarablus district (Northern Aleppo) community of 170,000, treating over 5,087 children each month - which is likely to grow as more communities become displaced from continued evacuations and news of the hospital spreads.
For comments please contact Dr Rola Hallam on +44 (0) 7970 229 183 or firstname.lastname@example.org
or Kate Sutton on +44 (0) 7764 151 208 or email@example.com.
CanDo’s focus is to bring the dignity of independence to local organisations working on the frontlines by recognising their incredible work and connecting them to direct funding and resources.
The not-for-profit organisation is creating a new international aid ecosystem that recognises, respects and empowers local humanitarians using crowdfunding technology.
About Independent Doctors Association:
IDA is an independent humanitarian organisation founded by a medical committee of Syrian doctors from Aleppo in 2012 as a response to the humanitarian needs. They work to rehabilitate medical services in Northern Syria and attain a standard level of health and social well-being for the affected populations.
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IDA’s website http://ida-org.com
Additional photos can be forwarded to you on request, including an updated exterior image of Hope Hospital. A video of the launch will be available later this week.
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