I won the Nobel Peace Prize!

Along with several thousand other MSFers. (MSFers = folks who work for the international medical organization Médècins Sans Frontiéres or Doctors Without Borders). Now that would really put me on the right track for financial independence, right?! Unfortunately I did not receive the prize money JIn 1999, MSF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work in humanitarian crises worldwide. Anyone else here reading joining me in that award? Please let me know  – we should put it on our resumées 🙂

My desire to work with MSF goes back to when I was a child. My French grandmother and I would correspond via ‘snail mail’ and she would frequently send me cards from MSF presumably received thanks to her donations to the organization. At the time, in the early 80s, the organization was not well known in America, but two of the founders were French physicians and the work that they were doing was groundbreaking. I would read the descriptions on the back of the cards and tell anyone who would listen “THAT’S what I want to do!’. After finishing my MSN, before I even applied for my first job, I applied to work for MSF. I was told I needed two years of health care experience before I could serve – and right at the two-year mark, I applied and was accepted to my first mission, to the Republic of Congo (Brazza).  Our team of four was tasked with transitioning responsibility of 15 primary care clinics (which MSF had been supporting) back over to the Congolese Ministry of Health. Another community need that had been identified was the need for increased prenatal care, mainly provided by Traditional Birth Attendants. As such, working with my Congolese nursing colleagues, we developed a course to extend training for these very experienced and caring birth attendants. Ultimately, I feel our mission made a difference in the lives of these families in letting them know were not alone. They had not been abandoned in spite of the terrible war inflicted on them and their communities.

This thought has carried through to the work I do now – I work with the Latinx immigrant community in the North East, a population living among us who often feel unseen, alone and rejected. Help begins at home.

Any thoughts? Please join the discussion below…

 

 

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