Campus organization to bring in two medical officials from Doctors Without Borders

BY JENNA SKOLLER
Daily Staff Reporter
Published February 8, 2009

Will Work For Food, a student group that raises money for humanitarian efforts in Darfur, will host an event featuring two employees from Doctors Without Borders tomorrow.

Dr. Hansel Otero and Nurse Sally Najera will speak about their experiences working on various international relief missions 7 p.m. tomorrow night in the Rackham Amphitheatre. The speakers will primarily address treating child malnutrition in Darfur.

Doctors Without Borders is a non-governmental, humanitarian aid organization that sends medical personnel to developing and war-torn countries.

LSA senior Steven Weinberg, president of Will Work For Food, said he hopes listening to the speakers will help students better understand the situation in Darfur.

“We realize that the crisis in Darfur is something we’re all removed from,” he said. “But we imagine their first-hand experiences will help people realize exactly what’s going on and will help them make a connection to that.”

The club also hopes to use the event as a way to reach out to students who want to contribute to humanitarian efforts.

“We hope to educate (students) about our organization and show them what we’re planning to do and what we’ve been doing,” said LSA junior Lindsay Canvasser, outreach chair for Will Work For Food. “And we hope that they will want to participate in the relief efforts.”

The club plans to present Doctors Without Borders with its first fundraising check, which they hope will reach $5,000 by the time of the event.

According to its website, Will Work For Food combines local community service with humanitarian efforts in Darfur. Participants are encouraged to ask a friend or family member to sponsor their local service efforts, like volunteering at a hospital or writing a letter to a soldier, with a $10 donation.

The money raised goes directly to Doctors Without Borders to buy nutritional supplements like Plumpy’nut, a peanut butter-like supplement to treat refugees suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

The event is co-sponsored by the Inter-Humanitarian's Council, the Institute for the Humanities and the Center for International and Comparative Studies.