Also known as Doctors Without Borders, MSF was founded in Paris, France in 1971 as a non-profit, self-governed medical humanitarian organisation delivering emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and who might otherwise be excluded from healthcare around the globe. Support and treatment is given on the basis of need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.
Since its founding, MSF has grown to a movement of 24 associations, bound together as Switzerland- based MSF International. Thousands of health professionals, logistical and administrative staff – most of whom are hired locally – work on programmes in some 70 countries worldwide to provide medical and social care and support for a staggering 10+ million people annually.
|How donations to SOS Help||Every 3 seconds, someone in the world dies of malaria, many of them children. A donation to SOS of just L$100 gives one child a potentially live-saving treatment against the disease.|
In addition, MSF is often one of the first organisations to have feet on the ground following a disaster, and is also to be found carrying out vital work in work-torn countries such as Yemen, where over 91,000 people have been killed and many more wounded, injured and / or displaced in a 6-year-old war than gains little world-wide attention.
The 2022 Spoonful of Sugar event opened on September 3rd, 2022 with this year marking the 8th time the event has been held in Second Life. In that time the event has raised a total of US $100,000 for MSF – once again demonstrating the generosity of Second Life users. In all, ten regions are available for exploration, entertainment and – of course – shopping. The theme for this year’s event is Tahiti, and if that conjures images of tropical beaches, island paradises, palm trees, tiki huts and outrigger boats – you’d be right; the regions offer all this and more.
However, the theme and setting isn’t about getting away from it all. MSF’s brief is a broad one, and many regions in the tropics and along coasts are facing greatly increased environmental risk and exposure to increasingly severe natural disasters, with MSF often on the front line dealing with the aftermath. As such, the SOS theme for 2022 is intended to encourage us to think about the challenges MSF helps those most at risk to face – and recover from, as the event website notes:
We don’t “earmark” our fundraising for a specific aspect of what they do. We think they know best where the money is most needed. We do, however, want to change our focus for the event a bit. We’re going to explore more about MSF/Doctors Without Borders work with environmental issues, natural disasters and the pressing impact of climate change, focusing on their work within these specific areas and the people they help while doing this work. So join us at places on our planet that are both astoundingly beautiful and wealthy and yet devastatingly vulnerable and poor. Let’s understand this connection between environmental imbalance and the illness, safety and resource insecurity, facing so many on our planet,
– From the Spoonful of Sugar website
As well as the usual full range of music and entertainment available daily at the event, 2022 brings visitors the Get Crabby Hunt. Prizes can be found on the Hunt webpage, and participation requires joining the must join the Get Crabby Hunt group (L$500 – all proceeds to SOS / MSF) Here I feel I must offer a suggestion to the organisers: it would be handy if the in-world banners / poster advertising the Hunt a) specified which group needs to be joined rather than a vague “group membership required”, and b) when clicked are scripted to present interested parties with the option of joining the hunt group.
The landing point for the event follows the familiar SOS format of providing extensive information on MSF’s work, with the focus this year being on the organisation’s response to environmental issues and natural disasters. Getting around from here is best achieved via the teleport boards – these are easy to find within each of the regions -, although boardwalks are available within the shopping regions and the entertainment / activities region so people can avoid getting wet feet when exploring these!
As always, Spoonful of Sugar is an event well worth the time taken to visit. Event if you don’t find anything to buy in the shopping regions, the donation kiosks will welcome your Linden dollars, and you can be absolutely sure that your money is going to a very worth cause.