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Topic: 2012 Charity Choice Discussion

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Kat (polbio) -
Subject: 2012 Charity Choice Discussion
Date Posted: 1/1/2012 6:29 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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Post a review of the book you chose for this category here

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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I finished Hope In Hell by Dan Bortolotti, which is about Doctors Without Borders.  I've always really admired this group although I didn't know much about them.  This book explained their history and the part they've played in caring for victims of wars/genocides in the past as well as more routine efforts like nutrition supplementation in poor countries. 

Something I hadn't thought about at all with this type of aid organization is the role of "advocacy".  Apparently shortly after the group first started there was a split between the people who thought that they should report to the world the political situations they observed, and those that thought they should just go and take care of their patients.  At first it seems obvious that they should report details of genocide if no one knows what's going on, but the other side of the issue is that once an organization gets a reputation for speaking out no other country will let them in to care for the people who have no help at all.

I also didn't realize how much danger the volunteers are in when they're doing their job, several have died in action.


Date Posted: 11/14/2012 12:36 AM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 210
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I read Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped  to Hide the Frank Family by Miep Gies.  The author told her story about how she and her husband helped to hide the Frank family during WWII, and helped others along the way as well.  At the end of the war the sole survivor of the group, Anne's father Otto Frank went on to live for several years with the Gies family.  I had previously read the diary of Anne Frank, and it was interesting to hear the story told from another perspective.  The Dutch people who put themselves at risk to help Jewish refugees during the war are truly to be admired.