Episode from the podcastThe Art of Asking Everything

Dr. Rola Hallam: The Fuckery of Philanthropy

Released Monday, 15th March 2021
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Dr. Rola Hallam is a punk rock doctor. She is the founder of CanDo; a crowdfunding platform that puts resources in the hands of the frontline healthcare workers in war-affected communities. 

In 2011, when war first broke out in her home country Syria, Hallam became involved in the humanitarian response. Working with various Syrian-led NGOs, she played an integral part in building 7 hospitals in Syria including the first ever crowdfunded hospital. 

To address the issues she had found within the aid system, she established CanDo, a not-for-profit social enterprise and crowdfunding platform for local humanitarian organizations. She ran a crowdfunding campaign in 2016 called People's Convoy, which raised money to build a Hope Hospital for children after the last children's hospital in Aleppo was destroyed having been bombed for the 6th time. She and the Convoy drove the entire provision of medical equipment for the hospital from London to the Turkey-Syria border in December 2016. She says, “Hope Hospital was built because thousands of people came together from around the world and said: It is not acceptable to bomb hospitals, it is not ok to bomb children. And we will rebuild.”

March 15, 2021 is the 10-year anniversary of the ongoing war in Syria. Hallam is now fundraising to help protect children who are being targeted in schools. Go to SaveSyriasSchools.org to help purchase early-warning systems for 150 schools. 

DONATE NOW - Save Syria's Schools


‘Saving Syria’s Children’ documentary


TED Talk


‘Open Letter: Let us Treat Patients in Syria’


The People’s Caravan


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