For February’s charity of the month, I decided on Medecins Sans Frontiers/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). This organization is comprised of medical professionals dedicated to bringing care to vulnerable populations around the world. They work in war zones to treat civilians unable to escape, poverty-stricken areas, and wherever there’s a humanitarian crisis.
Although I have no first-hand experience with being in those zones, I have worked with many people who were refugees, and I have strong familial ties to people who were refugees themselves. Being forced out of your home and the place you’ve known for perhaps your whole life is traumatic, but not having access to care when you’re hurt or get sick adds another level to that terror. Although they help refugee populations, they also work with people who live in impoverished areas with disease outbreaks, disasters, and war zones.
Because MSF dedicated to their patients, they work with whoever currently rules the area so they can reach people in need as quickly as possible and continually assess the good versus harm their presence may be doing. That said, they don’t ally with one party over the other, nor do they rely on donations from governments or large foundations. Most of their funding comes from individual donations. That means they have the funds available to give treatment when the need arises, rather than waiting for funds to be released or media coverage to help generate operational costs. They are also transparent about where that funding goes, the majority of which is to the people in need.
I could go on and on about them – how they bear witness to atrocities and speak out publicly about the need to address them, their self-enforced standard of care, and so many other things, but the MSF website says it much better than I ever could. If you have anything to spare, please consider donating to this organization. They save lives every day and work hard to make our world a better place for everyone to live.