Intercultural studies 

ANG 160 Fall 2005

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Doctors without borders

            As Canadians we can say that we are very spoiled, we have everything we need, everything we want, everything is right there in front of us. Elsewhere in the world millions of people have to fight everyday, fight to get water, food and shelter. Fight against diseases, fight against death.

            In 1971 in Europe a group of doctors were faced by the tragic destiny poor countries are fighting against. They set up an organisation that would send volunteers across the world to help build shelters, bring food and vaccinate populations against certain diseases (Beyond Borders). This organisation is called Doctors Without Borders. As the name implies it has no borders; the organisation doesn’t refuse to help anybody. Religious beliefs, political beliefs, skin colour or cultural patterns are not important to the organisation. If you are a human being you deserve all the help you can get. The organisation is totally independent from political, economic and religious influence (msf.ca). This mean that the organisation has no higher power that tells them where to go based on certain characteristics of the population. They are free to decided where to go and who to help.

            In the past 34 years Doctors Without Borders have been able to give support to a lot of people world wide who were involved in natural crisis such as the hurricane Katrina, epidemics of disease, armed conflicts, refugees and displacement issues and many more. Doctors Without Borders are not only available to help people with health or physical problems, they also speak up about humanitarian issues that can put a population in danger (msf.ca).

            It’s important to understand that the organisation doesn’t only help people in need in other countries but in Canada and United States as well. The organisation has volunteers that stay in Canada and help, especially in Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton. The volunteers’ task is to help homeless people, to help families who don’t have enough outcome to feed or dress their children and they would also help a region if a natural disaster occurs. It’s important to mention that the organisation plays a big role in welcoming refugees from around the world (Whitelaw). They help them find employment, find housing, they also go through the process of immigration with the refugees, and they protect them (Bennis).

            The organisation relies mostly on volunteers, every year they send more than 2,500 volunteers across more than 80 countries around the world (msf.ca). Volunteers are not only important overseas but in Canada as well. Volunteering in Canada means helping people in our own country, help refugees get established or help the organisation with fundraising activities. Money is always an issue, more money means more lives are going to be save.

Doctors Without Borders is a great organisation that needs and deserves more recognition from the population. Most people I talk to about it are not aware of the existence of this organisation. Doctors without borders cares about our world, they want to make it a better place to live in. They are where they are needed the most, they help save thousands of lives every year. They have values that every human being should have. We have to continue encouraging the organisation, whether it’s by volunteering overseas, volunteering in a big city in Canada, participating in fundraising activities or by talking about the organisation with people around us. What ever we can accomplish will help the organisation work on making our world a better place to live in.