Since we were founded in 1971, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has always been guided by the belief that everyone should have access to high-quality health care. We provide medical aid to the people who need it most, regardless of gender, race, religion, or political affiliation. Core to this work is the act of bearing witness—or témoignage. We stand in solidarity with communities and speak out against abuse and injustice.
Bearing witness is not without its challenges and risks. MSF often has to walk the line between speaking out and maintaining access to places where patients urgently need care. But as our movement has grown to nearly 63,000 staff providing over 10 million medical consultations in more than 70 countries every year, we remain committed to our activist roots. We continue to advocate for our patients, challenge the actions of governments and armed groups that put people’s health at risk, and share stories with the world about the daily struggles and triumphs we witness.
This year was no exception. Here, we asked MSF staff across our various projects to reflect on what bearing witness means to them.