metro mama

Friday, January 09, 2009

An Ongoing Offering

This month marks the last of Mad and Jen’s wonderful Just Posts. Last week they asked us to talk about our philosophy towards charitable donations, and urged us to join them in becoming an ongoing supporter of a cause we believe in.

Until recently, I’ve been a very sporadic donator, and I jumped around a lot. When someone I know is fundraising I’m usually quick to shell out a few bucks, but I’ve never really focused on one cause in particular. McHotty and I discussed this a few times, and decided to make a more significant impact by choosing one charity and supporting it with automated monthly donations. We had no trouble agreeing on the cause: Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).

MSF was founded in 1971. They provide rapid humanitarian assistance worldwide, with independence from political, economic and religious influences. Importantly, in carrying out humanitarian assistance MSF acts a witness and speaks out about the plights of the populations in danger for whom its doctors work. In doing so, they seek to alleviate human suffering, to protect life and health, and to restore and ensure respect for human beings and their fundamental human rights.

My respect for the work of the organization has increased in the last few months after reading two books written by MSF doctors:

Dr. James Orbinski’s An Imperfect Offering is a personal and political book about humanitarianism. Orbinski reflects on twenty years of humanitarian work in troubled places such as Sudan, Afghanistan and Rwanda (he was there during the genocide) and asserts the fundamental imperative of seeing as human those whose political systems have most brutally failed. Dr. Orbinski is a past international President of MSF. You can read an excerpt of An Imperfect Offering here.

I’ve recently finished Dr. James Maskalyk’s Six Months in Sudan (from our spring list). The pub date isn’t until April, so I can’t review it yet, but I will tell you it’s one of my favourites of the season. The book began from Maskalyk’s blog that he wrote from his hut in Sudan. It’s intimate, it’s raw and it’s terrifically written. You’ll be hearing a lot more about this book from me closer to April.

Click here to donate to MSF. Please consider an automated monthly donation.


Blogger Mad said...

This is perfect, MM. bon at crib chronicles also chose MSF. I can't think of a worthier cause.

Thank you.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Girlplustwo said...

love, love, love this. xo

4:26 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

That is an excellent cause, to be sure. and both books sound really interesting! If only I was finding that I really did have time to read... sigh.

3:59 AM  
Blogger Magpie said...

They're on my list!

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this great post! I will definitely look for Maskalyk's book... how wonderful that you were able to read an advanced copy! Orbinski's book is an interesting read. I've assistant taught courses in Complex Emergencies from the SPHERE perspective, so I enjoyed getting more of the MSF philosophy from his work.

You might like War Hospital, if you haven't read it already?

10:49 PM  
Blogger moplans said...

Now I have to read Orbinski's book.

8:42 PM  

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