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Thursday, 23 November 2006

Medecins Sans Frontieres

It’s a small world…
How many times a week do you find yourself saying that? I swear I say it all the time… but then again it may have something to do with the fact that I live in Brisbane – not exactly a heaving metropolis and thus it is perhaps not that crazy that my boyfriend’s best-mate’s mate is my house-mate’s work-mate’s mate. Hmm…
Anyway, I found myself saying it again on Saturday night. I was at a farewell party in one of Vegas’s happening bars (meaning it was crawling with 19-year-olds) and was introduced to a lovely lady, Fiona Terry, who, by the way, has worked for MSF Australia for the past 10 years. No way, we are donating 10% of our profits to MSF. Ok, not too crazy a coincidence I suppose, but certainly was enough of a connection to get a conversation started with a very interesting and intelligent woman.
I took the opportunity of finding out as much as I could about Fiona’s work (poor woman was probably looking forward to a nice relaxing night out with some close friends!). But she was such an inspiration, having devoted her whole working life to global social justice causes, and seemed more than happy to share some stories with me. She has been stationed in so many hot spots including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the North Korean border. And she gave me a glimpse into a completely new perspective to the provision of international aid. I’m not even going to try to pretend I understand it at the moment, but I plan to do a lot more reading on the subject to enlighten myself a little more.
Fiona has written a book called “Condemned to Repeat: The Paradox of Humanitarian Action” – possibly not the lightest of bed-time reading, but I’m going to see if I can get through it. I just found a couple of interesting articles on her work also, including this one, which I found quite interesting.
I love it when you meet someone who really inspires you and reminds you how much potential every human being has to make a difference in the world.

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