Just because you cant do everything doesnt mean you shouldnt do something. Nathan Ford shares his experiences of humanitarian aid and gives some advice on how to get involved
On the wall above my desk is a picture of a chubby smiling Sudanese baby. When I met Macak he was surrounded by other children who ran around after him screaming and flailing their arms playing, as young children do all over the world. Barely four years old, always grinning and laughing, Macak seemed to know he was lucky to be alive. It was difficult to believe that he had been at the verge of death two weeks before, a skeleton found at the gates of the feeding centre, too weak to chase the flies from his face.
Thousands died in Sudan in 1998 during one of the worst famines of the decade,1 but many lives were saved thanks to the huge humanitarian aid effort. Without a doubt, Macak and many others survived because of the intensive medical efforts of doctors working in the Médecins Sans Frontières feeding programme.