The Office of Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) in Luxembourg continues its commitment within the educational and cultural milieu of the country. Actually, on Monday, May 23rd, our collaborators Roberto Baldanza, a long-time humanitarian worker with many years of field experience in Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean (including two missions with MSF) and Carole Nunez, head of the Department Public Engagement, went to the Château de Differdange, the Miami University John E. Dolibois European headquarters. The Château hosts some of the students from Miami University who wish to pursue complementary courses in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
The students on campus, many of whom are studying in the field of health, seized the chance to learn about the international medical humanitarian organization that we are: our principles, our history, the challenges that MSF responds to in almost 90 countries, as well as on the medical assistance we are providing in the context of the armed conflict in Ukraine, which has been ravaging the country for three months now.
The biggest takeaway for me was listening to our Doctors Without Borders speakers. I felt like I learned a lot of meaningful information that fit exactly into our learning objectives. I felt like they gave such a great perspective and different ways we could get involved. I think that when or if we go into humanitarian aid first we need to prioritize ourselves because if we don’t we will not be able to effectively care for the people.
- Maggie Dorsey, senior nursing student
The participants showed great interest in our mission and activities; they were also enquiring on MSF’s actual needs in terms of medical and paramedical human resources. This leads us to believe that a number of them are considering carrying out humanitarian missions in the field in order to bring their expertise in the response to the challenges faced by our patients and assisted populations.
If I were to work with a humanitarian aid organization, I would probably work with Médecins Sans Frontières. Many NGOs do great humanitarian aid work, but MSF stood out to me because of their principle of témoignage, or “witnessing.” While neutrality is essential to an extent to gain access to people in need, just like I argued in our debate, it’s necessary to speak up about injustices we see and amplify the voices of people that wouldn’t otherwise be heard. I admire MSF’s decisions to speak out and do what they know is right, even if governments push back.
- Juliana Zacher, pre-medical student
Mr. Raymond Manes, Executive Director of the Luxembourg headquarters of the University, showed great enthusiasm for the active participation of the students and hopes that our intervention will encourage some of them to commit to MSF missions in the near future. We thank him for his invitation to the wonderful setting, as well as for his interest in our organization; we remain in contact in order to continue this enriching collaboration.