Established in: 2004
Themes & Interventions: Health, Women
What We Do: Awareness Rising, Service Delivery
Head Office at Lahore
MdM was formally established on 1 February 1980 (the year of establishment mentioned on our website is the year when it started working in Pakistan). Its goals were "to go where others will not, to testify to the intolerable, and to volunteer".
Its origins lay in a 1979 intervention to assist a drifting boat of Vietnamese refugees in the South China Sea. Kouchner, with volunteer doctors, journalists, and others organized a hospital boat, L'Île de lumière, to provide medical care and to report the refugees' suffering.
MdM was founded as Bernard Kouchner and 14 others doctors split from the group he previously founded, Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF, or Doctors Without Borders). It has been reported Kouchner felt that MSF was giving up its founding principle of témoignage ("witnessing"), which refers to aid workers making the atrocities they observe known to the public.
Kouchner was president of MdM from 1980 to 1982. In 1989, the foundation of MdM Spain paved the way for the creation of the MdM international network. In 2015, the MdM global network consisted of fifteen associations; France (founded 1980), Spain (founded 1989), Greece (founded 1990), Italy and Switzerland (both founded 1993), Sweden (founded 1994), Cyprus (founded 1995 by Elena Theoharous), Argentina (founded 1998), Belgium, Canada and Portugal (all founded 1999), as well as in Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, the Netherlands, and the USA.
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