I've been worrying for months about what I can do to help the refugees who've been fleeing across our continent this year. Although for a while Dan, Morgan and I had a haphazard plan to drive to Calais with supplies, our efforts were too-little-too-late and by the time we were in a position to make the journey, advice from the front line was that cluelessly driving into the camp was more likely to cause chaos than help people.
Looking through all the charities and NGOs involved in the crisis, I was totally lost until I started to read about Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).
"We help people worldwide where the need is greatest, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from healthcare."
MSF's work focuses in countries that most of us could never fathom travelling to: Libya, Syria, the Ukraine, Iraq and Afghanistan among others, but I was most touched by their efforts in the Mediterranean. By tackling a disaster that our governments have often tried to brush aside, hoping that in time it will disappear with little intervention, since their boat Dignity I set out four months ago, MSF have saved over 5000 people.
As if their work wasn't difficult or dangerous enough, two weeks ago "Coalition forces" including the USA bombed one of MSF's hospitals in Afghanistan. The building, which held an intensive
care unit, emergency rooms and a physiotherapy ward, was attacked over a series of bombings despite its well-known location. A total of twenty-two people including two children and twelve
MSF staff were killed and a further thirty-seven were injured. Te horror is unimaginable.
"In the aftermath of the attack, the MSF team desperately tried to move wounded and ill patients out of harm’s way, and tried to save the lives of wounded colleagues and patients after setting up a makeshift operating theatre in an undamaged room."
The organisation does not receive funding from governments and promises to remain independent, neutral and impartial, so you can make what you will of the attack, but please recognise the bravery of these doctors and all the staff who continue to do this incredible work. I will be forever grateful if you follow the link below and sponsor me.