Best Way Get Help For Medical Emergency In Two-Story House Doctors Without Borders – A Global Volunteer Organization Helping People In Crisis Regions

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Doctors Without Borders – A Global Volunteer Organization Helping People In Crisis Regions

One of the things I will be researching in the near future is combining travel with volunteer opportunities around the world. Volunteering is a great way to explore different cultures while making a positive contribution to important causes.

Doctors Without Borders first caught my attention during the tsunami crisis. It is an organization that provides vital medical relief to people in disaster-hit areas. I was compelled to learn more about this organization, its philosophy and its recent missions. Here is my interview with Isabel Jinson, National Press Officer for Doctors Without Borders Toronto.

1. Please tell us about Medicines San Frontieres / Frontiers Without Doctors. What kind of organization is it? What philosophy is it based on?

We are the world’s leading independent international medical relief agency.

Médecins Sans Frontières provides assistance to vulnerable populations, victims of natural or man-made disasters and victims of armed conflict, without discrimination and regardless of race, religion, religion or political affiliation. We also practice impartiality and neutrality in the name of universal medical ethics and the right to humanitarian aid.

2. Tell us about the history of Doctors Without Borders. Who founded the organization? How has it evolved since its inception?

MSF was originally founded in France in 1971 by a group of doctors and medical journalists who were concerned with the plight of populations in emergency situations. Since 1971, MSF has grown into 5 European operational divisions and 13 partner divisions around the world. The Canadian office was established in 1991, by a few Canadian doctors who returned to Canada from missions and realized that there was a need for an MSF presence in Canada.

3. How is your organization financed?

We are funded mostly by donations from the public (80%) and the rest from governments and foundations (20%).

4. Who can volunteer with Doctors Without Borders? How many volunteers are there worldwide? Tell us about the volunteer recruitment process.

Doctors, nurses, midwives, logisticians, project coordinators, financial coordinators, mental health specialists, social workers and many other professionals can volunteer with Doctors Without Borders. More than 2000 volunteers work for MSF in the field and hundreds more who work in offices around the world.

Interested persons should first visit our website: http://www.msf.ca, which explains in detail what we are looking for in our candidates. Once an interested candidate applies (on-line or by mail), their application is reviewed by a hiring officer. If their application is relevant to what we are looking for, they will be invited to an interview. If the interview is successful, the candidate will be given pre-departure training before leaving for the mission. Their selection of missions is based on the candidate’s skills that match the field requirements. The time required to find the right mission for the right person can be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

5. Please comment on some of the risks and hazards faced by volunteers.

Safety is of utmost concern to MSF, all its volunteers and national staff. Volunteers are given a safety briefing before leaving for the mission and when they arrive at their mission. A volunteer is not forced to go on a mission if they are concerned about their safety. Volunteers are ultimately responsible for their safety once they are on mission, but MSF provides excellent safety protocols and systems to minimize risk. If a volunteer is on a mission that becomes too unsafe, he or she will be evacuated with his or her team to a safer environment.

6. What are the living conditions of volunteers?

Volunteers will often live in a house shared by other international MSF volunteers. Accommodation, food, transportation and all other facilities are covered by MSF. Volunteers also receive a stipend as pocket money.

7. Is your organization involved in any important missions recently?

Currently we are involved in a famine crisis in Niger; in the Darfur conflict in Western Sudan; In the conflict areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; In Asia Mental Health Project; Tsunami relief in Southeast Asia; And we offer AIDS treatment projects in dozens of countries around the world, just to name a few. MSF currently works in more than 70 countries around the world and manages hundreds of projects.

8. MSF also advocates to end suffering and provides public education and information programs. Tell us more about that.

In addition to providing medical relief to distressed populations, MSF also has a mandate to speak out or “témoignage”. Essentially this means that we speak out against atrocities or injustices we witness on the ground, to raise international public awareness of an issue that is otherwise forgotten or unknown to the world. We do this by speaking at public events, or by giving media interviews or publishing reports.

9. Comment specifically on the situation in South Asia now more than 6 months after the tsunami disaster.

We are still active in India and Indonesia, providing mental health counseling and basic healthcare to tsunami victims.

10. Please tell us about the different ways to contribute to Doctors Without Borders.

People can give to MSF through several places:

Through Partners Without Borders, our monthly giving program;

via the Internet through our secure online payment form;

by fax or mail, in response to our annual campaign, or our special or urgent solicitation;

By Phone – We may call you, or you may contact us toll-free at 1-800-982-7903;

through the grant of publicly traded securities;

By contributing to MSF in your will;

hosting or organizing a special event to benefit MSF;

Makes a gift in honor of a birthday, anniversary, wedding or graduation of a friend or family member;

Making a gift in memory of a loved one who has passed away;

At work through fair gift programs

Thank you, Isabel, for providing more information about your organization and the important missions and activities you are involved with. We wish you all the best in your humanitarian endeavours.

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