Doctors Without Borders launches personal stories from Congo: "Condition Critical"

Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has launched a series of web videos which tell the stories of people in Congo, an African country that has seen violence and human rights atrocities of phenomenal scale during an ongoing civil war. The online shorts are part of a larger MSF campaign called Condition: Critical. I asked Pete Masters of MSF to tell us more about the videos. His response below, and links to all videos after the jump.

critical.jpgCondition: Critical was launched one year ago by Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to bring to the world's attention the plight of the people living through the war in Eastern Congo (DRC). BUT, rather than MSF at the focal point, it is the people and their stories that take centre stage. In this, the last chapter of the Condition: Critical project, listen to the stories of four people telling how the conflict has affected their lives.

Francoise (in the video above) was locked in her hut when they came and set it alight. Although she escaped, her sons did not make it; one she could not save from the fire and the other died in hospital. Although she is horribly burnt, she tells how it is the hurt in her heart that really affects her.

Bahati is far from his village which he cannot return to because of the ongoing violence. He talks about how he now works as a lumberjack, trying to make enough money to survive while teaching anyone who wants to learn so they might also have a means of survival.

Mishoka fled his village when he found his brother brutally murdered. Now, in a camp with his family and his brother's daughter, he explains his struggle to provide any sort of life for them.

An ex-child soldier tells of his experiences of being abducted and forced to fight. His story is illustrated by the paintings he has been making while he tries to come to terms with the trauma of his ordeal.

These four people, the others who have told us their story through Condition: Critical and millions like them have been largely forgotten by the world. Please visit Condition: Critical, see hear their stories and leave a message of support for them, so they know that someone is listening. MSF promises to take a selection of these messages to Congo give back to the people.

Bahati's story
Francoise's story
Mishoka's story
Drawing the war

More: Condition: Critical


  1. You know, I just told my husband to make a donation to Right to Play in lieu of buying me a Christmas present. I think I need to make a donation myself, to MSF, because honestly, who is doing more sterling work in this blighted world than these guys?

  2. MSF really are an outstanding charity. the congo is one of those relentless tragedies that don’t seem to make the news. thanks for posting this.

  3. It is very surreal for this piece to precede the item on the rotating kitchen.

    MSF >> rotating kitchens.

  4. Fans of Doctors Without Borders in the U.S. might also want to check out this upcoming event on Dec 14:

    A one-night event featuring the documentary “Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders” (short-listed for an Oscar nomination) followed by a LIVE panel discussion with doctors featured in the film and award-winning journalists.

    Broadcast via satellite from NYC to over 440 movie theaters nationwide.

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