mini-AG 2020



Why an MSFB mini-AG?
Just like we have it on the field with the FAD, MSFers in Belgium also need a space to get together, discuss topics that YOU find important and that can possibly (but not mandatorily !) feed debates at the OCB Gathering/MSFB GA.

We want indeed the MSFB mini-AG to be an opportunity for you to put forward a subject you think merits a reflexion, a brainstorm, discover if opinions find echo with others, eventually decide on what you could do together to move an idea forward and to make a change, in a relaxed atmosphere and in interactive formats.

Remember, some members questioning about the quality of the medical care we provide to patients, about how we balance operational orientations made their way from the mini-AG to the Gathering to bring change.

Who's invited?
Absolutely everyone, HQ staff, expats in between mission, Alumni, MSF Supply staff living in Belgium,  …
Everybody is welcome!


14:00: Belgian projects
15:00: The Cost of caring
16:00: Generations

Belgian projects: 14:00

  • Orientations, challenges, dilemma's
  • With the participation of: Djoen, Head of mission and Raphael : Fieldco
  • Documentation: 

The Cost of Caring: 15:00

 "We talk openly about broken bones, why not broken hearts and minds too? " - Emma Pedley, MSF expat

Many will argue that humanitarian work is one of the most rewarding types of work you can do. You might say that working with MSF is more than a job; it is a way of life.
It is enriching, meaningful and sometimes it can be all consuming. We are constantly faced with challenges, lack of resources and extremely demanding working conditions.
But we do what we can - whatever we can, to help.

"We cannot walk through water without getting wet. We cannot do this work without being affected by it” - Dr. Rachel Remen (2006)

The cost of being a helper however can be overwhelming and sometimes devastating. People, stories, images - other people's pain - it all fills our hearts and minds and over time there is a cost. A cost of caring. The emotional and psychological consequences of working in close proximity to trauma, pain and suffering - the "cost of caring" - have been described in various ways: compassion fatigue, secondary trauma, burnout and PTSD.

At this point in time, there is a large body of research available to show how it affects not only trauma therapists, but all of us humanitarian aid workers.
We believe that with this knowledge, comes a responsibility.

"The darkness I met in my work, became a darkness inside me" - Per Isdal, clinical psychologist

In 2018 MSF Norway started a long overdue conversation around the Cost of Caring. The setting was a safe space where one could share experiences and explore individual perspectives. The aim was to discuss and better understand the three levels of responsibility when it comes to our mental health and well-being: as an individual, as a colleague, as an organization/employer.

At this year’s Mini AG we welcome you to explore with us how care for our carers - and facing the ever present, unavoidable cost of caring – can and should be part of the MSF we do want to be. Ultimately, the aim is to inspire and provoke a cultural change in the movement.


  • Lindis Hurum, MSF Norway Field Worker
  • Person X, MSF B Field Worker/Office staff/Operational manager
  • Shanti Sachane, MSF Norway Psychosocial Focal Point

The panel will be followed by a Q&A and sharing of ideas for next steps or areas to work on for the associative/boards and the executive

If you would like to read more about the Cost of Caring before the event, you can find some useful information on the 'Cost of Caring' page on Inside OCB:



Generations: 16:00




By: Sophie Guillaumie