In early 1993, three young friends – a doctor, a manager and a logistician – decided to create a specialist British charity to send medical teams into disaster zones. Dr Christopher Besse, Nicholas Mellor and Mark Dalton wanted to harness the energy and goodwill of doctors, nurses and other professionals, and enable them to work overseas to care for the sick, prevent disease and help develop local health services.
From an office set up in the spare bedroom of a London house, Merlin organised its first mission: a convoy bound for war-torn Bosnia carrying £1million worth of essential food and medicines. Since then, Merlin has grown dramatically – evolving into a specialist charity with a unique mandate to respond to natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies, then stay on to rebuild the capacity of local health services until they’re ready to operate effectively and independently.
To date, Merlin has worked in 39 countries and responded to some of the most serious humanitarian emergencies of recent history. These include the Rwandan genocide, Hurricane Mitch, the 2003 Iraq War, the tsunami, Darfur, and the Myanmar cyclone. As we celebrate our fifteenth birthday, we are poised to become one of the world’s leading medical aid agencies, with ambitions to expand our capacity for emergency response and to launch new operations in Zimbabwe, Yemen and Sierra Leone.
Every year natural disasters leave people in need of medical help at a time when the services on which they once relied are destroyed. Wars claim the lives of innocent victims and leave refugees susceptible to malnutrition and sickness. And in many of the world’s poorest countries, diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and HIV threaten entire communities in regions where health centres or hospitals are poorly developed or non-existent.
Merlin is a British medical charity driven by one aim: to provide health care for people at times when they are most in need. Our medical teams act fast to help people during emergencies. They work in the world’s most difficult and dangerous environments: in countries ravaged by civil war, blighted by drought, devastated by earthquakes and landslides.
And our teams of doctors, nurses and public health specialists don’t stop working just because an emergency is over. They stay in place until lasting health care services are rebuilt.
Merlin believes that everyone has a right to essential health care. We are helping to achieve this.
MSC Headhunters have been supporting Merlin for over 5 years owing to their life-saving work. Please join us and help support Merlin by visiting the website and maybe contributing to a worthy cause.
© Merlin 2008 Registered charity 1016607