Life in an MSF project is full of challenges and frustration, as well as enormous satisfaction and reward. Projects may be located in the most remote places in the world, often in harsh environments with limited resources and amenities. This can mean rudimentary medical equipment and supplies, bland food (cabbage, beans, lentils), interesting housemates (snakes, bats, scorpions) and few leisure outlets (jogging on the landing strip).
Nevertheless, MSF ensures adequate accommodation, appropriate water and sanitation standards, access to the Internet wherever possible, and even clean laundry.
A special camaraderie emerges amongst members of a project team who come from different countries, backgrounds and experience. This creates a shared sense of purpose, sparking ingenuity and resourcefulness in getting things done, and a lot of spontaneous fun.
Security and Safety
Because MSF's purpose is to bring medical assistance to people in distress, the work may occur in settings of active conflict, or in post-conflict environments, in which there are inherent risks, potential danger and ongoing threats to safety and security. MSF acknowledges that it is impossible to exclude all risks, but it does its utmost as an organization to mitigate and manage these risks through strict and comprehensive security protocols.
Each field mission has detailed safety regulations and security plans in place based on thorough analysis of that specific context.Working for MSF is a deeply personal choice; individuals must determine for themselves the level of risk and the circumstances in which they feel comfortable, based on a full and transparent understanding of the possibilities they may face.
Field workers will be fully informed of the risk associated with a potential mission before accepting a particular posting. Once in the mission, all MSF staff must strictly observe security rules and regulations; failure to do so may result in dismissal.