Our Story

As told by our founder, Dr Rola Hallam:

I was a Doctor in the UK when war broke out in my home country of Syria in 2011. I did the only thing I knew I could, and got involved in the humanitarian response. As war engulfed my country, Syrian doctors, nurses, aid workers and volunteers rushed to help their local communities.

I soon realised it is the local people who know best what their communities need and who were bravely risking their lives to help.

While these local organisations deliver 75% of the humanitarian work, they receive less than 1% of the available funds.

They are the ones taking action and creating projects that change communities and save lives, but have no way to tell their story and articulate their needs to a global audience.

At the same time, there are millions of people around the world who see tragedy unfolding in war zones, who long to help alleviate the suffering but who feel powerless to make a difference. When I’ve asked my friends about charitable giving, most say they are disillusioned. They feel they give blindly with scant knowledge of where their money has gone - or even if it has arrived and what good it did.

People want to make a difference but the broken aid system is letting them down. The same system that’s letting down the local humanitarian organisations that are saving lives every day.

CanDo was born to bring these two groups together.

Together we save more lives.


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Our Manifesto

We have the courage to imagine a better world, the resourcefulness to make it real, the humility to know we don't have all the answers, and the tenacity to stand up again after we have fallen.

We work with the heart of a humanitarian and the mind of an entrepreneur; willing to try, embracing doubt, creating new solutions and treating failure as a teacher not an enemy.

We bring a fresh, cando, bottom-up approach to humanitarian action, working in the most volatile places on earth to provide their communities access to healthcare.

We are a global community standing with and for local humanitarian partners. Together we channel resources where they have the biggest impact and can save the most lives. On the front lines, in local hands.

With audacious openness, we can create the trusted, relevant and impactful humanitarian community that we all deserve.


Together, transforming humanitarian action.

Together, we CanDo.

Meet the whole team  Join Our Work


The story so far

Our first campaign was born out of need.


In one month, five hospitals were bombed in Aleppo.

One of them was a children’s hospital. Like many of you, we felt that humanity was failing the Syrian people, and yet we felt powerless to help.

Instead we decided to act in the only way we felt we could. Collectively.

Through crowdfunding, a group of us attempted to connect people from around the world that wanted to help, with the Syrians that so desperately needed it. Within just a few days, the campaign had gone viral – and the public had donated enough to provide the medical equipment the children’s hospital would need to rebuild. Medics in Syria were so overwhelmed with joy.


the world’s first crowdfunded hospital would be called Hope Hospital.



Six weeks, 5,000 donors and £247,000 later, something became obvious: if we could provide the public with a direct way to support the local humanitarian response to war, good things can get done. What’s more, they can get done very quickly.


This quick response has saved many more lives. And it proved to us here at CanDo that our new vision for getting support directly to local humanitarians works.


Be part of the story

CanDo is bringing together global humanitarians to support local organisations to deliver more successes like the building of Hope Hospital. If you want to help save more lives, there are many ways to get involved.

Get in touch and volunteer your skills, ideas or contacts. We’re a small, dynamic team, energy-full, time-scarce and always on the look out for the next great idea or willing pair of hands.


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