Medecins Sans Frontieres

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 September, 2005, 12:00am

Where: Shop 5B, Lai Chi Kok Bay Garden, 272 Lai King Hill Road, Kowloon

What: Founded in 1971 by a small group of French doctors, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is an international humanitarian organisation dedicated to providing emergency medical assistance to people in need. MSF-Hong Kong was established in 1994 as a delegation office and later became one of 18 partners of the international group.

How: Call 2338 8277 or visit for more information. They need volunteers for office work and a wide variety of fund-raising and promotional events.

Volunteer: Jason Kwong Chun-yeung, 24, joined MSF about a year ago while studying software engineering at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education. His experience at MSF inspired him to become a youth worker at a social service organisation.

'I initially thought that only doctors or nurses could be an MSF volunteer, and that the postings would be in Africa or Third World countries. But, in fact, MSF also needs help at its Hong Kong office.

The work of MSF is not limited to frontline medical services. A lot of logistics and management is involved and all sorts of talent is needed to accomplish its mission.

There are two kinds of volunteer work. Regular volunteer services include office work, such as data entry, research and translation. There are also promotional events - such as exhibitions or fund-raising activities - that need volunteer help.

Many people around the world die because they don't have money to buy medicine. It is routine for us to go to the doctor when we feel sick. But for many people living in Third World countries, medication is a luxury.

Aids is another serious issue. Some countries don't have the resources to treat Aids patients, who often face discrimination.

Many people get infected due to a lack of knowledge about the means of transmission. Some are even born with the illness.

Before working at MSF, I, like many students, only wanted to get a well-paid job after graduation. But my volunteer experience inspired me to reflect on my goals. Was my life just about making a living? If so, there would be little value to my life.

Hong Kong is a materialistic city where people think about money. We should be concerned about other people. If more people had humanitarian values, there would be less discrimination and the world would be a much better place.'