Pierre Fitter: It happened over a tweet!

As a former journalist, I’d heard of MSF’s many programmes bringing medical aid to some of the world’s most isolated, challenging or dangerous places. The tragedies that its staff endured in Afghanistan and Syria, while helping those most in need, had recently focused attention on the organisation and its work. The tweet was to a friend about my plan to run the 2016 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. An MSF representative noticed it and got in touch – asking if I would run to raise funds for them. I immediately said yes. Several friends had run for charities in other marathons, so I knew this was a great way to raise awareness about a good cause that I cared about. (I also reasoned that this would give me added motivation to get across the finish line!) While the donation process itself was easy, getting people to the donation page was the hard bit. I tapped my professional, personal and social networks; tweeting twice a day for several weeks, posting several times on Facebook and on my Whatsapp groups. The response was slow to begin with. However, as the weeks drew closer, the donations started rolling in. I had expected all the donations to come from friends, co-workers or family. However, I was heartened to see complete strangers who saw my tweets contribute as well. This is fully a reflection of MSF’s credibility with the public. You are doing important, irreplaceable work. Your teams are sacrificing so that others may live. There is no greater cause, and I continue to talk proudly of my association with you.

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