St Michael & All Angels

Sharing God's Love

Charity of the Month

Each month we support a different charity. Information about the chosen charity is published in the Parish magazine, and a presentation is made at the 10.30 service on the first Sunday of the month.

The Charity for the month of August is Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) (Doctors Without Borders) is an independent humanitarian medical aid organisation that relies on private donations for 90 percent of its funding to ensure its independence. They are committed to: - Providing medical aid where it is most needed, regardless of race, religion, politics or gender.- Raising awareness of the plight of the people they help in 65 countries. Médecins Sans Frontières has offices in 19 countries. There are five 'operational centres' which directly control field projects, and decide when, where, and what aid is necessary and when to end a programme. These centres are based in Belgium, France, Holland, Spain and Switzerland.  The remaining 13 offices are 'non-operational sections', whose primary functions are to recruit volunteers, raise funds and advocate on behalf of populations in danger. These offices are located in Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, the UK and the U.S.   MSF has four other main offices: the international office in Geneva, UN Liaison Offices in Geneva and New York City and an office in the United Arab Emirates. MSF is also establishing itself in Ireland, South Africa and Brazil. 

In 1970 a group of French doctors joined an international aid mission to help victims of Nigeria’s civil war. They were frustrated by government interference in humanitarian aid and felt they were being silenced when they wanted to tell the world about the atrocities they witnessed.

To speak out about the plight of victims, and seeking an independent, impartial way to provide care where they saw the greatest need, they joined a group of French journalists who were committed to the same principles and founded MSF in 1971.

The organisation started life as a group of medics travelling to remote corners of the world, providing medical aid to victims of wars and natural disasters. Over time the organisation grew, employing more people in the countries where it worked. Now MSF works in over 60 countries and also has a Sea Rescue Unit involved in the rescue of refugees from boats in the Mediterranean Sea.  In 1999, in recognition of its “pioneering humanitarian work on several continents”, MSF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 

In the field, MSF doctors are constantly frustrated by the lack of adequate medical tools.  In response, Médecins Sans Frontières set up the MSF Access Campaign in 1999 to improve access to existing medical tools and to stimulate the development of urgently needed better tools.

MSF is well known for its humanitarian medical work, but it has also produced important research based on its field experience with vulnerable populations. Their website - www.msf.org.uk - archives MSF's scientific articles and makes them available free, with full text, in an easily searchable format.

For 30 years, MSF has directly witnessed the human cost of the lack of drugs for neglected diseases and has raised its voice against this inequity. In 2003, seven organisations from around the world joined forces to establish the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi).

There is a display in church at the entrance to the North Chapel and donations to the work of MSF will be most appreciated and can be made through the box near the main door.  Gift Aid envelopes are available if you pay tax and wish it to be reclaimed.   PLEASE GIVE YOUR SUPPORT.

Brian Woodgate

https://www.msf.org.uk