Please give to Merlin this Christmas

Arzoo is a 22-year-old midwife working for Merlin in Afghanistan

I’d like to take a moment or two to ask that, if you’re thinking about making a charitable donation this Christmas, or perhaps about adopting a new charity in 2012, that you give serious thought to Merlin.

I act as a trustee for Merlin, and make no apology for promoting their work or seeking your support for what they do.

Merlin is a charity which?saves lives. They deliver medical expertise – doctors, nurses, midwives and supplies – to the toughest places. And they stay to help build lasting health care.

Every minute of the day, somewhere in the world, 18 people are being treated by a Merlin health worker.

Merlin was founded in 1993 by three young friends in a spare bedroom in London.?It has grown into the UK?s leading international health charity, with a reputation for acting fast to save lives when a crisis comes.?Merlin has worked in over 40 countries and responded to some of the most serious humanitarian emergencies of recent history, including?the Rwandan genocide, the Asian tsunami, Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (Burma), the Haiti earthquake, Pakistan floods and 2011’s devastating food crisis.

Merlin now has over 5,000 staff members, 99% of whom are based in the field – and reaching the lives of 20 million people on average each year.

You can find out more about Merlin on their excellent website here. This Christmas, there are pretty exciting things going on.

Firstly, the Independent on Sunday has chosen Merlin as their Christmas appeal. Find out more here, and read these two articles the IoS has already published:

Libya’s children at risk from deadly ‘toys’

Food aid has transformed Ekure into a healthy child

Last year, the Times chose Merlin as a Christmas charity. The fact that another newspaper has selected them a year later is testament to the quality of the work they do.

The second Christmas campaign is Merlin’s Heroes campaign, which seeks to highlight the work done by Merlin’s doctors, nurses and midwives out in the field. There’s a lot of information about the campaign here, including some amazing stories and pictures from the field.

I really hope you feel able to make a contribution to Merlin’s work. While we in the West agonise over our economies and our own wellbeing, it’s vital to remember that much of the world’s population lives with real fear, real hardship and real agonies each and every day. The people at Merlin are on the side of the angels, and anything you give will go straight to helping real doctors, nurses and midwives out in the field right now, saving lives. Pure and simple.


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