Bearing Witness

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MSF—which had been operating in Kosovo for years—immediately began providing emergency assistance to those fleeing the atrocities and aerial bombardments. As the killing and destruction continued, and high-level international mediation stalled, MSF spoke out about the deteriorating security and humanitarian conditions for Kosovar Albanian civilians. MSF operated in Rwanda from to When the country began sliding toward violent upheaval, MSF volunteers bore witness to what would become recognized as one of the most tragic episodes of genocide in the late-twentieth century.


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The grim reality of the situation led them to take an unprecedented step among humanitarian organizations: to publicly demand international armed intervention. MSF began working in Ethiopia in , as famine struck the north of the country, devastating millions of lives.

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The famine—the combined result of environmental factors, war, and forced agricultural collectivization—drew unprecedented amounts of aid from the international community. The Ethiopian government used some of this funding to forcefully relocate millions of people, causing up to , more deaths. A few days later, MSF teams were expelled from the country. We rely on our network of supporters to tell the stories of the people we help.

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Bearing Witness

Click to close sign up dialog. Lifejackets are distributed to people in a rubber boat by an MSF rib in international waters off the north coast of Libya, on June 8, Breadcrumb Home Who we are Principles. Bearing witness. Bearing witness: case studies Sectarian strife in Central African Republic —present In early , MSF increased its operational activities in Central African Republic CAR and surrounding countries to provide care to those affected by escalating violence—both within and outside of the country.

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The Kosovo War — In March , the forces of the then-Federal Republic of Yugoslavia launched an assault on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, sparking a conflict that would take the lives of thousands, displace millions, and only end with intervention by NATO. Ethiopia: drought and forced displacement — MSF began working in Ethiopia in , as famine struck the north of the country, devastating millions of lives. Bearing witness Your browser does not support iframes, but you can use the following link: Link.

Dying is messy and smelly. Sometimes it can.

Bearing Witness Retreat Bosnia Herzegovina

But if you work in a place where people go to die, I do expect you to act as if you know it. Goodnight, moon.


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Once inside, the world turned inside out, and I learned a few more things. There was one nurse for two dozen patients, all needing something rather immediately. Something about the laundry not being delivered yet again that made my eyes glaze over in helpless defeat. The hospital where he had been before that earned praise for hiring gifted nurses who cared deeply for the extra-wobbly. So when we were there I was able to focus on the kind man who raised me, and share our quickly dwindling time, carving out moments of bliss in between longer moments of watching a body shut down.

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He promised to continue to pray for us. And other names. It was sweet. I listened to his every changing breath, watched his body slowly lose the resolve, felt his fear and his great concern and total love. I offered tissues at every cough and rubbed his head until it was a copper penny.

Bearing Witness - The New York Times

I fought the need to control things and assured him there was nothing to fear and nothing to lose and everything to gain, and I believed every word and the whole thing was devastating. But it was beautiful, too. I miss him.