Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Spotlight: Refugees Up Close

Doctors Without Borders plans to bring its traveling exhibit, “Forced From Home,” to five cities, including Pittsburgh, this fall.




Medical team leader Jane Boggini examines a patient while responding to an outbreak of the neglected disease Kala Azar in 2010 in South Sudan | photo courtesy MSF
 

You walk into a tent smaller than your living room in which 12 people sleep and store all of their belongings. You see a young girl’s beloved doll made from nothing but plastic grocery bags and a little boy’s toy car made from discarded tin.

In “Forced From Home,” a new traveling exhibit by the international aid organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (as it’s known outside of the United States), tour guides who have witnessed these scenes and worked in countries where people are fleeing conflict situations will showcase the realities of life in these desperate circumstances. The exhibit (forcedfromhome.com) was set to open in New York City on Sept. 16 before making its way through Washington, D.C., Boston, Pittsburgh (Oct. 27-31 in Schenley Plaza in Oakland) and Philadelphia, where the East Coast leg of the multi-year national tour will end in November.

“We’re trying to raise awareness of the experiences of what’s now 65.3 million displaced people,” says Vito Castelgrande, the project coordinator for “Forced From Home.” “DWB has a really unique perspective through which we see and work with these people … It’s basically giving [our aid workers] the opportunity to bear witness on behalf of our patients.”

The organization, officially founded in 1971 in France (MSF-USA was created in 1990), provides emergency medical care and services such as water, sanitation and nutrition to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from health care.

​Castelgrande says many people are familiar with refugees from Syria fleeing across the Mediterranean Sea because of ongoing media coverage. The goal of the traveling exhibition is to bring the experience up close and help people to understand that this goes on all over the world.

“This is all about the firsthand experience that we’re seeing in the field,” says Castelgrande. “It becomes a very personal experience when you get to see the different conditions.”

“Forced From Home” features eight stations. First, visitors will get an introduction to the organization’s projects and various displacement settings around the world through a 360-degree immersive film. Then they’ll learn about situations that cause people to flee their homes and the methods they use to attempt to escape danger. The stations also will address legal status (what does it mean to be a refugee versus an asylum seeker?), medical situations refugees face, what happens when a refugee settles into his or her final destination and more.
 


Tens of thousands of people from all over the region prepare to receive their first distribution in many months in Thonyor, South Sudan | photo by Dominic Nahr
 

One of the aid workers on the tour is Jane Boggini, who has worked with Doctors Without Borders for 17 years. She’s been a field nurse in South Sudan, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, among other locations. She says the tours will provide the opportunity for people to experience what her everyday work is like.

“Malnutrition is probably the most critical need we see in every setting,” she says. “These people have fled. Recently, in the South Sudan, they left their crops behind in the field, or opposition has destroyed their crops, so oftentimes we have severe malnutrition.

“We often see trauma because if they’ve been fleeing for various reasons they may have gunshot wounds. If people are running, they’re falling and breaking bones.

“Once they get settled a bit, there are still the mental-health issues: They’ve fled, they lost children sometimes, they’ve been separated. Often these are things you don’t hear about too often, but these are things we deal with in the field all the time. The living situations these people are put in is very precarious.”

​Boggini, too, stresses these issues occur all over the world, and the number of people being displaced is increasing.

In the Congo, she met a woman who told her, “My children have never known what a village is like.” When Boggini asked what she meant, the woman replied, “We have lived in the bush all their lives, moving from one place to another.”

“In the DRC, people are constantly fleeing the conflict that happens,” Boggini says.

On Oct. 26, a panel discussion to complement the exhibit, “The Global Refugee Crisis: Flight and Resettlement,” will be held with Doctors Without Borders staff, aid workers and outside experts at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall in Oakland. The event will be free and open to the public.  
 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Ultimate Comfort Food: The Joy of Dumplings

Why our dining critic thinks dumplings might be his ultimate comfort food.

Our Seven Favorite Dumplings in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, of course, is best known for the pierogi. Our love of dumplings extends beyond that, however. These seven dumplings are our favorite restaurant versions of their various styles.

The Tailor's Dumpling: Kreplach

A Pittsburgh chef and his family continue to craft a family recipe with roots in Poland.

The Pittsburgh Region's Top Dentists 2018

Our annual list, which contains 376 dentists across 11 specialities, as determined by topDENTISTS.

A Weekend Mission of Mercy in Pittsburgh

More than a thousand people come to PPG paints arena once a year for free dental care, thanks to an ambitious, all-volunteer effort.

Jump Into the River: Open Waters Beckons Strong Swimmers

It takes a strong swimmer and the right timing to dive into the three rivers. for those up to it, the difference between the pool and open water is profound.

Pirates Are Still a Long Way From a Hollywood Ending

Despite an 8-1 winning streak going into the All-Star break, the Bucs are in desperate need of a sequel, not only to win back some credibility with fans, but also to convince their owner not to sell off more pieces of the team.

National Aviary's New Renovations Make it Essential Pittsburgh

It's time to add the National Aviary to the list of local favorites you visit again and again.

PM on KD: Family City Guide 2018

PM Associate Editor Sean Collier appears on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live to discuss our Family City Guide for 2018-2019.

Tom Hanks May Have Found Co-Star for Fred Rogers Film

One of the stars of FX's “The Americans” is reportedly in talks to appear in the Mister Rogers flick “You Are My Friend.”

Competitive, High-Tech Driving Range Coming to Pittsburgh

The Topgolf complex opening in Bridgeville features a driving range with microchipped golf balls that score themselves, plus plenty of food and drink options.

The Eight Best Frozen Treats in Pittsburgh

Our dining critic picks his favorite ice cream, ice pop, frozen custard, vegan delight and more.

5 Great Ways to Enjoy Picklesburgh

The city’s fourth annual pickle festival will feature more food, more music and even pickle-inspired beers.

Wow Factor: Empty Nest Inspires Timeless Makeover

When her last child graduated from college, Ingrid Meenen did something she had been wanting to do for 20 years — renovate the first floor of her Upper St. Clair home.

Perfect Proposals that Flashed Back to First Dates

Return to your roots before your relationship blooms into a beautiful marriage.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Tom Hanks May Have Found Co-Star for Fred Rogers Film

Tom Hanks May Have Found Co-Star for Fred Rogers Film

One of the stars of FX's “The Americans” is reportedly in talks to appear in the Mister Rogers flick “You Are My Friend.”

Comments

Competitive, High-Tech Driving Range Coming to Pittsburgh

Competitive, High-Tech Driving Range Coming to Pittsburgh

The Topgolf complex opening in Bridgeville features a driving range with microchipped golf balls that score themselves, plus plenty of food and drink options.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
A Pop-Up Bar in Pittsburgh that Serves a Sober Alternative

A Pop-Up Bar in Pittsburgh that Serves a Sober Alternative

Empath provides the vibe and social space of a bar, as well as stepped up beverage service ... without the alcohol.

Comments

Willow Restaurant in the North Hills Lands a New Chef

Willow Restaurant in the North Hills Lands a New Chef

Aaron Allen comes to Willow by way of 2-star Daniel in New York City. Plus, Greta Harmon joins the staff of the Ohio Township hideaway as the restaurant's new bar manager.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Eight Best Frozen Treats in Pittsburgh

The Eight Best Frozen Treats in Pittsburgh

Our dining critic picks his favorite ice cream, ice pop, frozen custard, vegan delight and more.

Comments

Six Underrated Kennywood Rides You Need to Try Again

Six Underrated Kennywood Rides You Need to Try Again

Leave enough time in your next visit to Kennywood to revisit some old favorites and these underrated gems.

Comments


National Aviary's New Renovations Make it Essential Pittsburgh

National Aviary's New Renovations Make it Essential Pittsburgh

It's time to add the National Aviary to the list of local favorites you visit again and again.

Comments

Stop Using Uber and Lyft, Renting a Bike is Better

Stop Using Uber and Lyft, Renting a Bike is Better

You'll save money and have an easier time hopping between neighborhoods on a Healthy Ride bicycle.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pirates Are Still a Long Way From a Hollywood Ending

Pirates Are Still a Long Way From a Hollywood Ending

Despite an 8-1 winning streak going into the All-Star break, the Bucs are in desperate need of a sequel, not only to win back some credibility with fans, but also to convince their owner not to sell off more pieces of the team.

Comments

Compelling World Cup Worth a Periodic Embrace

Compelling World Cup Worth a Periodic Embrace

The competition is as fierce as the fans are passionate and both can be appreciated without a firm grasp of the details.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Skyscraper

The 400-Word Review: Skyscraper

If you want "Die Hard" with half the brains but three times the building, the new Dwayne Johnson flick will do a passing job.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

The 400-Word Review: The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

The Netflix exclusive Josh Brolin flick is pleasant enough, but light on laughs.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Perfect Proposals that Flashed Back to First Dates

Perfect Proposals that Flashed Back to First Dates

Return to your roots before your relationship blooms into a beautiful marriage.

Comments

I Do, Now Let’s Have Some BBQ

I Do, Now Let’s Have Some BBQ

A five-course meal doesn’t fit with every wedding. These laid-back couples opted for casual — and delicious — cuisine perfect for their outdoor and barn receptions.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Wow Factor: Empty Nest Inspires Timeless Makeover

Wow Factor: Empty Nest Inspires Timeless Makeover

When her last child graduated from college, Ingrid Meenen did something she had been wanting to do for 20 years — renovate the first floor of her Upper St. Clair home.

Comments

Head to the North Hills for Two Blooming Garden Tours

Head to the North Hills for Two Blooming Garden Tours

The Wexford Garden and Pond Tour and the Southern Butler County Garden Club tour both take place this weekend.

Comments