Day 22: a website

Today, I introduce you to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), one of the most well-respected humanitarian organizations on the planet.  To my knowledge, nobody provides disaster relief and humanitarian aid better than MSF.  They have extensive experience, impeccable practices, and they speak out for those who are unable to speak for themselves.

Here’s a little about them in their own words, from their website:

Today, MSF provides independent, impartial assistance in more than 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflictepidemicsmalnutrition,exclusion from health care, or natural disasters. MSF provides independent, impartial assistance to those most in need. MSF also reserves the right to speak out to bring attention to neglected crises, challenge inadequacies or abuse of the aid system, and to advocate for improved medical treatments and protocols.

MSF goes to the most difficult places in the world, the most volatile, the most dangerous, to those with the greatest need.  They go places where no one else can go.  Their website chronicles the experiences of those who serve and calls out those who are responsible.  They hold governments, aid organizations, and individuals accountable.  The develop newer, more effective, cost-saving and life-saving treatments for all sorts of difficulties that they encounter.  They are the NASA of international health care.

Annually, they publish a list of the 10 most underreported humanitarian stories of the year.  This, for example, is the 2007 list.  I bet you didn’t know most of these things were even happening.


  • Displaced Fleeing War in Somalia Face Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political and Economic Turmoil Sparks Health-Care Crisis in Zimbabwe
  • Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Spreads As New Drugs Go Untested
  • Expanded Use of Nutrient Dense Ready-to-Use Foods Crucial for Reducing Childhood Malnutrition
  • Civilians Increasingly Under Fire in Sri Lankan Conflict
  • Conditions Worsen in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Living Precariously in Colombia’s Conflict Zones
  • Humanitarian Aid Restricted in Myanmar
  • Civilians Caught Between Armed Groups in Central African Republic
  • As Chechen Conflict Ebbs, Critical Humanitarian Needs Still Remain

Visit their website, read a little of what is going on in the world.  May it awaken you to the great crises that occur every day in some other place, maybe somewhere you’ve never even heard of where people just like you try to make a way.  I want to grow in my compassion.  I don’t want to remain ignorant.