The world’s first crowdfunded hospital, Hope Hospital is on schedule to open tomorrow to treat children in Aleppo.
It started with a campaign spearheaded by CanDo last December, the People’s Convoy, which was transported hospital equipment and supplies from Chelsea & Westminster Hospital to Turkey’s border with Syria; a journey covering over 2,600 miles by land, through France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.
Alongside partners organisations Across The Divide, Doctors Under Fire, Hand in Hand for Syria, Phoenix Foundation, The Syria Campaign, and UOSSM, CanDo raised £246,505 in just 14 days 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, which led it to exceed its targets by 270 per cent; enough to cover six months of running costs.
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 in 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.
“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,” Dr Hatem from The Independent Doctors Association (IDA) said.
“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 believes that 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,” she said.
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.