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Author's profile photo Susan Keohan

Doctors Without Borders and why I care

Do I need to explain how and why I am so passionate about MSF?  Does anyone really give a darn?  Maybe not.

I think my first awareness of Doctors Without Borders came during one of Craig Cmehil‘s ‘Friday Morning Report’ marathons, during which Craig would stay up and online, and have a variety of guests to talk about the topics they were passionate about while hopefully, viewers would donate to Doctors Without Borders.

Take a look at this lineup from 2010!

FMR marathon.jpg

(Agenda for 2010 24 Hour Marathon | Friday Morning Report)

This was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.   Not only was I made aware that there was this fantastic organization, but I started looking at what they do.  They’re not a ‘big name’, they don’t do corporate sponsored fundraising, their overhead is extremely low as far as charitable organizations go.

They use the funds that are raised to send doctors and medical and logistic personnel out into the ‘field’ – which can be wherever medical assistance is needed.

Then the opportunity to help revise the ‘workflow bible’ (Practical Workflow for SAP, V1) came along, and the always fabulous Ginger Gatling  realized that, not only would it be an accounting nightmare to try to allocate author royalties, but wouldn’t it be better to donate our proceeds to MSF.  (There is a long story, but Ginger could share THAT).    The authors (all FOURTEEN of them, I believe) happily agreed.  Version2 of the book is now sold out, but the proceeds generated were about 40K. 
Along can Ina Felsheim and another book with Ginger, the EIM book.  They followed the same model – more people writing, more people donating their time and energy, and more funds to help MSF.

In 2013, we had a little #sapcc (SAP Community Challenge) which encouraged members to do silly or serious things to raise money for MSF.  Most notably, Clint Vosloo and his burpee challenge and Bjoern Goerke and his Marathon challenge should go down in SCN history for their enthusiasm and generosity.

There have been more community efforts to raise awareness and funds to MSF, so the relationship is rock steady.  Marilyn Pratt, Audrey Stevenson, Jason Cao and others in the SCN Community team helped establish the  I care, I gave, I inspired   Missions, and I am so proud to have been able to play a small part in that.

At a this past #saptd in Las Vegas, Megan McGuire of MSF gave a talk about the challenges of going digital. I wish you ALL could have been there.   And the #datageek challenge on Tuesday night (here’s just one blog about it) included sapua students, SAP Lumira experts, and various ‘data viz’ geeks in an evening event to remember.

When you see medical supplies being transported up a river in a tiny row boat, when you see rows and rows of children lining up for something we take for granted, like vaccinations, when you consider that MSF is there after earthquakes, tsunamis, war and epidemics, how can you not be moved?

So yes, I am very passionate about MSF.  I admire them, I cheer for them, I am grateful that they go and do what needs to be done.  I know their doctors and nurses and medical and logistical staff are putting their lives on the line, every single day, whether they are fighting Ebola or helping survivors of deadly natural disasters.  Every time I read something more about what they do, where they go, what they risk, I am more moved.

The #dataviz challenge at #saptdLV was a real eye opener – when you learn that many MSF field workers use spreadsheets to track patients and also supplies – when you understand the massive logistical challenges facing this organization, and when you see the lights come on after some really cool #lumira data visualizations, how can you not be excited?    I wish I were a better @dataviz person than I am (which is to say, not at all) but I do know I can help MSF (and you can too!) one sure way, that is to continue to support the SAP Community Fundraiser. 

So, do you care? 

Doctors Without Borders/Plan a Fundraiser

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      Author's profile photo Ina Felsheim
      Ina Felsheim

      Plus, the MSF buttons you made for the Viz-a-thon were quite awesome!

      Author's profile photo Kate McNeel
      Kate McNeel

      The relationship with MSF extends way back.  When I was at BOBJ in a previous milennia, the company gave money to them as one of the CSR projects.  I've always been a fan.

      Author's profile photo Susan Keohan
      Susan Keohan
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Kate,

      Wow, that's going back.  Well, we will make do (as a community) with as much as we *can* do!  They are an SAP customer after all 🙂


      Author's profile photo Paul Bakker
      Paul Bakker

      I agree completely Sue - they are the charity I admire the most.

      Author's profile photo Clint Vosloo
      Clint Vosloo

      Hay Susan Keohan thanks so much to YOU for all you do to drive this initiative and give us the opportunity to help out !

      Thanks also for the kind mention and I am always happy/willing to help out where needs be (and don't mind putting my body through the washer if needs be 😆 )

      Eagerly awaiting the next challenge for Sapphire 2015 !

      Author's profile photo Susan Keohan
      Susan Keohan
      Blog Post Author

      Clint, your burpee challenge will live on in infamy.