Albert Einstein once said “The world is a dangerous place, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” On December 6, as a part of the ongoing speaker series at North Cross School, students enrolled in the Horace G. Fralin Program for Global Studies heard from Lisabeth List, a member of a worldwide organization actively serving people in counties around the world who are victims of war, natural disasters, epidemics, genocide, mass mutilations and displacement.Lisabeth List is a Registered Nurse from Dallas, Texas now residing in her team’s operational center in Amsterdam, Netherlands. At the age of 14, List decided she wanted to work in Africa to help people. For the past 15 years she has been working as an Emergency Coordinator with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, an International Humanitarian Organization that provides emergency medical care in over 85 countries including some of the worst areas of conflict and disasters on the globe. Because she decided at such a young age to pursue this path, she was thrilled to share her personal experiences with the global studies students at North Cross, including her two nieces, Rosalie (’14) and Natalie (’17).
List and members of her team are typically deployed to terrible situations around the world to manage medical relief efforts. “Doctors without Borders makes the difference between life and death in the world”, said List. Her assistance has been delivered to troubled areas including Darfur/South Sudan, Haiti, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and many other places with natural or humanitarian disasters. She has had bouts of malaria and dengue fever, landed on airstrips surrounded by people with weapons, and had to negotiate with rebels to pack and evacuate her station in just 20 minutes.
List told the students, “If you think this is cool, it totally is. We all started out just like you, we were all once like each of you. You have the chance to be catalysts for change. You may be told that you cannot change the world, but I am able to change one person’s life at a time, and that in itself is worth it.”
She recalled one of eight Christmases of her action-packed life serving in other countries, this particular one in Kashmir. “There were so many Christmas cards that were coming under my door from my Muslim colleagues that it was truly amazing. Despite the differences in our religions and cultures, we have so much in common and so much we do together to help others in need in the world.”
For more information on Doctors Without Borders, please visit their website at http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/.
North Cross School is a college-preparatory day school grounded in a strong liberal arts and science curriculum combined with exceptional co-curricular programs. The academic program, from junior kindergarten through twelfth grade, prepares students to become responsible, successful citizens by encouraging them to explore their interests and develop their talents. The School is located at 4254 Colonial Avenue, Roanoke, VA, 24018.
Submitted by: Whitney Campbell