MSF Delivers – Delivered

MSF’s new arrival is here. It’s a bouncing bundle of joy and an inspiring campaign to highlight the work British field volunteers do with MSF. MSF Delivers focuses on midwife Sam Perkins who spent 9 months working in a MSF maternity unit in Masisi, a war torn area of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

From Thursday 22nd til Tuesday 27th September you can see the incredible 3D photo-film MSF put together with film-makers duckrabbit to tell the story of Sam’s work. A 3D photo-film I hear you cry! What is that?

MSF often use photo films to show the work they achieve. Sometimes the stillness of an image can say more than an action packed film shot.  In practical terms video cameras are often cumbersome and guzzle energy which can be a problem in remote areas so photo cameras can be more accessible. 3D photography is an emerging technique and once the images are edited together it can create a compelling new medium. Pete and I went to the launch of the film last night where we donned futuristic specs to watch the film.

The film is excellent and inspiring. Seeing the determination of Sam, her team, and the women who use the clinic – often cross dangerous front lines on foot while in labour – made me very proud to play my small role in fund-raising for MSF.  I hope it will do the same for you too.

The 3D film is on in Spitafields Market in London from 10am til 6pm,  Thursday 22nd til Tuesday 27th September and only takes 6 minutes to watch so you can easily fit it into a lunch break or sightseeing at the weekend.

If you can’t make it to London there are several insightful short films about Sam’s work and the lives of women in Masisi on  the MSF Delivers website which is well worth a look.

I was in the MSF office when MSF Delivers was being put together. Imagine my delight when I was shown this:

Credit to Yasuyoshi Chiba

Part of the work the clinic in Masisi does  is identifying at risk pregnancies such as breech birth and twins. Women who are found to be at risk of a complicated delivery are invited to live at the clinic from their 8th month of pregnancy onwards so help will be immediately available when they go into labour. While they are at the clinic they are offered health education covering labour, birth control, disease prevention and other skills, and they are also taught how to knit!

copyright Yasuyoshi Chiba

Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba

As we all know knitting has great benefits. In Masisi, the women make clothes for their new babies and it also helps pass the time in the build up to the birth date. If you’ve been pregnant, or have followed friend’s pregnancies, you’ll remember how tense the waiting can be. I’m hoping to find more about these knitters and their teacher and we will have more images to share with you very soon.

I like Sam’s quote from the MSF Delivers website about child birth:

The pain, anticipation, exhaustion, fear and excitement are the same for all women – whether in Northampton or Nairobi. What isn’t is access to trained medical staff, care, surgical interventions, drugs and materials.”

While knitting usually isn’t as life changing as childbirth there is that connection between all of us. The casting on, the marvelling at producing your first few rows of garter stitch, the magic of wielding sticks to change string into fabric.

copyright Yasuyoshi Chiba

Familiar look of concentration Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba

We are all knitters. Sadly not all of us have access to basic necessities. This is why I support MSF.

If you feel inspired by this please do spread the work about MSF Delivers.  I don’t have midwifery skills but if I pass on the message to my friends and family that will be a few more people helping to support people like Sam.