Aiming to ease the process of blood donations in Egypt, Law 3andak Dam online service was established in 2011, connecting blood donors to patients in need of blood based on their blood type and locations. We have talked to Law 3andak Dam’s founder, the Musician and the Creative Director Hisham Kharma to know more about the status of his initiative now.
1) Eight years into law3andakdam.com, what are the best lessons learned so far?
We have learnt three different lessons. There is so much good in people; whenever there is an opportunity for doing good, many people/partners jump in without hesitation. As much as there are drawbacks to technology and social media, it can play a vital part in saving lives. Having many initiatives/startups like ours is very healthy to society and gives so much hope for the youth. I feel it when we get in touch with aspiring students and student clubs at universities for example.
2) Ramadan might be a challenging season for blood donations, how do you overcome this challenge?
It is definitely challenging, but in our case there are always donors who want to help willingly since we are mainly a platform that connects blood donors and patients in need of blood; plus we give access to a donors’ database and link to other blood initiatives on our portal. It might sometimes be challenging when we are running an on ground donation campaign with the National blood bank of Egypt.
3) A lot of people think that donations translate into money or food, how can we raise awareness about the areas where we have a problem?
There are several ways to raise awareness about the issue either through social media highlighting case studies and shedding light on such initiatives along with small documentaries or through the word of mouth, Targeting communities like universities for instance where you can spread the word among students and communities. Partnering with the right entities can also help endorse and give the right exposure to such initiatives. Besides, media entities, health or National institutions who believe in unconventional approaches and initiatives to such causes also help.
4) In your opinion, how did social media help initiatives with a cause such as yours?
During the clashes of the revolution where blood donors where needed on a regular basis and when we initially started, everyone was going online using Facebook and Twitter. It definitely proved to us how social media is going to be a game changer. Since then, we depend heavily on it since it can get the message across instantly. For patients in need of blood to have their cases broadcasted to thousands of potential donors, it’s a life-savior.
5) How do you plan on reaching out to people who can’t afford to be on the Internet or are just not active on it?
After connecting individuals, part of our plan is to connect institutions like blood banks for instance that exist in rural areas so this blood bank at that certain area could be the hub connecting residents to our network and other blood banks for needed blood.
6) How does the application work logistically?
We are simply a platform or a hub. We connect blood donors and recipients. Potential blood donors register their data: blood type, city and phone number and/or follow our social media pages. Patients in need of blood fill out a very easy blood request on the website with: patient name, blood type needed, hospital, contact number and city. We take that request and help spread it across our social media pages/partners’ pages. Also, they can check the blood donors’ directory where they can start contacting potential donors. We also have links on the website to other initiatives like Resala so they can try contacting them as well. What we are basically doing is to give them an easy solution and a centralized hub to reach out for potential donors because as you know, when someone is in need of blood, you can barely think. We usually send mass messages on the phone or on Whatsapp to family and friends, so we wanted a centralized solution to solve that.
7) Doing good through music is your area, tell us more about your contribution as a musician in spreading the word about certain causes? (Ahl Masr, law3andak dam…etc)
I believe it doesn’t have to do with being a musician. I think everyone should try to help his community whenever he can or gets the chance. I am a computer science graduate and always had a passion for technology and startups. Eight years ago, when my uncle was hospitalized in a private hospital, it was my first shock with how some private blood banks can take advantage of such life threatening situations to make a business out of it. I felt that I need to do something using my skills and passion, so I thought a startup for a cause can’t get any better.
8) Do you do any on ground activations like donations vans…etc?
We do, but only in collaboration with the national blood bank of Egypt. We mainly connect donors and patients online, but we never get involved in the process, working only as a mediator or facilitator. After the growth and success of the initiative, we get contacted by many entities, institutions or brands who wanted to have a donation campaign, so we jump in handling the marketing/organization of it, in collaboration with the National blood bank who handles the actual on ground process providing the doctors, vans, beds and so forth.
Pay a visit to their Website https://www.law3andakdam.com/ if you want to donate!