Hisham Kharma

Ashoka Fellow
Egypt,
Fellow Since 2013

Citation

This profile was prepared when Hisham Kharma was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Acting out of a need to solve a national problem, Hisham created the first online trusted community and platform to link blood donors with recipients, aggregate all blood donation initiatives in one place, and map out areas of the country where there is an availability or shortage of blood. His platform, Law Andak Dam (meaning, If you have a conscience/If you have blood) is the first to group all actors under one umbrella including patients in need of blood, donors, hospitals, blood banks, and citizen organizations (COs). Using Hisham’s platform, both users, suppliers, and supportive institutions can go to one place and quickly identify where particular blood types and quantities are needed as well as where they are available at any given time—a centralized system that is very new to Egypt.

Relying on the viral nature of social media and people’s desire to give during times of crisis, Hisham formed a large network of donors and a community of concerned citizens who are willing for the first time to donate blood to strangers. Though Egyptians traditionally only donate blood to family members or close friends, Hisham foresaw the opportunity to expand the definition of family to all Egyptians by embedding trust and rapport into a platform that had already been noted for successfully connecting diverse segments of the population—the Internet. Law Andak Dam is connecting patients to blood donors who are complete strangers and thereby restoring faith into a system that has historically been known for its inefficiencies and lack of credibility.

Hisham is building a community approach to blood donation, capitalizing on post-revolution widespread social media usage, to decrease the amount of time it takes for someone in need of blood to receive it and restore trust in the blood donation field. Hisham’s objective is to become the “yellow pages” for blood in Egypt, with full directories of blood banks reporting their available stocks and shortages. Already working in several regions in Egypt, he plans to expand his reach throughout the rest of the country and to provide a complete mapping of available and needed blood nationally.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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