For immediate release: for interviews contact [email protected]; +44 7415 515368
British doctors’ bold plan to send ‘people’s convoy’ to build children’s hospital in Syria
London, December 7th 2016 – A new crowdfunding campaign which aims to deliver and then build an entire children’s hospital in Syria was launched today. Now live at PeoplesConvoy.com, the innovative project aims to send trucks from the UK to Syria before Christmas.
Organisers hope the £90,000 fund will offer a way for British people to directly help the children of Syria. Hospitals in the war torn country have been bombed repeatedly in recent weeks, with doctors and medical workers bearing the brunt of Russian and Syrian regime airstrikes.
The convoy will leave from London on December 17th, staffed by British, American and Syrian doctors who have volunteered for the trip. It will travel to the border with Syria, where it will be handed over to Syrian aid organisations. The supplies will then be used to refit an existing building as a new hospital.
Dr. Rola Hallam is a British-Syrian doctor and Founder of CanDo who will travel with the convoy. She said: “This is aid from the people to the people. It is both practical support and an important message of solidarity for the innocent civilians caught up in Syria’s horrific war, and the brave and selfless doctors and humanitarian workers who fight to save lives in the most difficult circumstances imaginable.”
The site – at PeoplesConvoy.com – allows people to donate specific amounts for children’s beds, weighing scales and incubators. The convoy will leave in ten days’ time and arrive before Christmas.
David Nott, a Welsh surgeon who has worked in war zones including Syria, is backing the campaign. He said: “Deliberately targeting hospitals and medical staff is a war crime and it must stop. Our governments cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the suffering of innocent Syrian civilians, including millions of children. This convoy will directly help some of those in need, but only concerted international action to stop the bombing and let aid in will stop the suffering for good.”
After six years of war the humanitarian situation in Syria is catastrophic. Hospitals and medical staff have been deliberately targeted, leaving hundreds of thousands of civilians without access to medical care, even as the bombs rain down. The convoy will head to an area just outside of Aleppo, where most of the hospitals and medical facilities have been destroyed. More than half the population of Syria has been forced to flee their homes.
Doctors who will be travelling in the convoy are available. To arrange interviews, contact James Turner at The Syria Campaign: [email protected] / 07415 515368
Pictures available at this link: https://www.dropbox.com/home/Graphics%20and%20Photo/People’s%20Convoy
The project has been organised by CanDo, The Syria Campaign, Doctors Under Fire, The Phoenix Foundation, and in collaboration with Syrian organisations on the ground.
Supporting partners include:
– Syrian American Medical Society – SAMS
– Medicin Du Monde US (MDM US)
– UOSSM (Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations)
– Hand in Hand for Syria
– The Phoenix Foundation
– Physicians for Human Rights
– Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
– Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
– Nobel Women’s Initiative
– Defenders for Medical Impartiality
– International Federation of Health and Human Rights Organizations
Below are some of the people will travel with the convoy from London to the Syrian border:
Dr Rola Hallam, Consultant Anesthetist, CEO and Founder of CanDo; Dr Zaher Sahloul, Founder and Executive Member at American Relief Coalition for Syria; Paul Conroy, freelance photographer and filmmaker, who was injured in Homs in 2012; and Saleyha Ahsan Emergency Medicine Doctor, BBC presenter and co-founder of Doctors Under Fire.
Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (“UOSSM”) is also leading a convoy of medical supplies from France to Syria. The convoy will leave Paris the 15th to meet our partners from the UK the 17th in Lille. One of the largest NGO’s operating in Syria, UOSSM will also be the implementation partner within Syria.
The crowdfunding site has been launched online with a target to raise £91,432 in 10 days. If the full funds are not raised in time, the convoy will still set off, carrying as much aid as it could afford to purchase in advance, and continuing to fundraise as it travels. It will source further equipment en route.