Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) – Assignment #12

Stern, Eric


Founded on December 20, 1971, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, is a non-governmental organization comprised of 30,000 medical professionals who provide aid to foreign countries. Those in this organization are volunteers, only seeking to cure the ill around the world.

When tuberculosis and anaemia became prevalent near the Aral Sea, the MSF sent groups of missionaries to care for those affected by the diseases. They were successfully able to give meningitis vaccines to three million Nigerians in 1996. In addition, MSF members condemned the Taliban’s neglect of health care for women in 1997. Of all the locations they visited, Sierra Leone was the most important. In the late 1990s, Sierra Leone was involved in a civil war as the Revolutionary United Front battled to overthrow Joseph Momoh’s government. While in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, MSF members helped with amputee surgeries and gathered statistics about the local population who were attacked by the Nigerian ECOMOG (Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group). During this time, the ECOMOG were roaming between villages, cutting off people’s limbs, raping women, destroying homes, and forcing survivors to flee their territory. Because of the vast insecurity in Sierra Leone, the MSF struggled to gain access to isolated areas. Nevertheless, the MSF were able to collect data which indicated that many residents from all suburbs of Freetown experienced high levels of traumatic stress. Because of the increase in trauma levels, the MSF stressed that the only way to help was “to restore the bonds between the individual and their surrounding system of family, friends, community, and society.”

While injury and illness struck the Sierra Leone population, the MSF was particularly instrumental in restoring social order back to the lives of the local population. The MSF allocated some of its members to hospitals while others collected data about the population. The MSF created a psychological program in Freetown, in which they conducted a survey to collect data about people’s firsthand experiences. Though the survey alone did not improve the citizens’ current state, it provided MSF with an idea of what the people were suffering from. For instance, of those interviewed, 84% experienced an attack on a village, 83% an aerial bombing, and 62% the burning of properties. As they learned in their research, the situation in Sierra Leone was fragile. Following the civil war, the MSF created psychosocial and mental health programs as a means of curing the people’s trauma. By working to reestablish the citizens’ well being in Sierra Leone, the MSF created social change through the established success of their health programs.






Assignment 12: Save the Children

Victoria Bellamy

Save the Children is an NGO that gives children in the United States and around the world protection from the worlds worst disasters. They help give children an education, housing, health protection from HIV and AIDS, environmental protection from natural disasters, and protection from abuse and other violence.

Save the children hinders the combatants from succeeding in fully terrorizing the people or having an attack on the future of those people. In the realm of education, this NGO offers kids in conflict areas the chance at a brighter future.

They have been working in war stricken Syria and are working with UN agencies to provide support to refugees including shelter, food, and protection for children. They have already reached over 250,000 people across Syria. They have developed “Child Friendly Spaces” to let children be children and give them a space to be free from all the chaos and violence in the hands of trusted caregivers. They are supporting schools to stay open and supplying kids with school survival kits so the kids have everything they need. This NGO is supporting health center and hospitals by supplying them with things specifically for children, pregnant women and new mothers. They are helping out with nutrition by keeping bakeries open to supply bread by giving them flour and giving families food baskets with simple ingredients. They are also helping mothers by encouraging breastfeeding instead of diseases that can come from powered milk and teaching them how to sterilize water. They have supplied refugees with basic household things like warm clothes, bed nets, and cooking items because they leave everything behind when they flee. Finally, Save the Children has helped deliver clean water to this desperate place.

Save the Children is always trying to lessen the impact of war on children by aligning them with futures. This changes the dynamics of violence by not eliminating all of their hopes for a better life. They have an impact on every aspect of a child’s life and try to put them on a path away from becoming a child soldier or some slave to the war.





Extra Assignment (3 of 3): Danish Refugee Council

Tatel, Corey

The Danish Refugee Council is a non-governmental organization(NGO) that focuses on humanitarian intervention. They focus their efforts in conflict areas or regions where war is occurring and provide relief to citizens who are struggling for one reason or another. They are similar to a human rights’ NGO, but they focus more on areas of conflict and war. The organization prides itself on helping refugees, or people who have been misplaced because of war that is occurring in their home region.The members of the organizations’s ultimate goal is to create “durable solutions” for refugees so that they may live as normal of lives as possible even though they are victims of terrible circumstances. The ultimate authority that directs the actions of the NGO is a council made up of representatives who have been a part of the organization for a very long time from the ground up. Many members of the council specialize in a particular region of the world so that all regions may be represented. The Danish Refugee Council helps refugees in war areas by providing housing and small infrastructure, generating income, and providing social rehabilitation.

The first way that the Danish Refugee Council helps refugees is through the building of homes and small infrastructure. Because the organization is an NGO, many find themselves wondering how it is possible for the Danish Refugee Council to do this without any source of income. The organization runs primarily on donations. So using donations, they are able to purchase the materials they need to build the homes along with the services of an engineer or two to design the homes and ensure that they are safe for the refugees. After that, the homes are essentially built mostly by volunteers who travel to war zones in order to help out the cause. Because of the efforts of the many people who donate and the people who help build, the organization is able to provide homes and other necessary infrastructure such as schools to victims of the war who have been forced out of their homes. Many people in Iraq and Afghanistan were forced to leave their homes because it simply wasn’t safe for them to live there anymore. They were essentially homeless before the Danish Refugee Council provided them with a new home,

The next way that the Danish Refugee Council helps refugees is through the production of income generation. Because many people were displaced from not only their homes, but their communities due to the war, many people are left without jobs. They can’t support or provide food and shelter for their families because they simply have no source of income. The Danish Refugee Council comes in and helps them with this in multiple ways. Often times, they will transport the refugees into areas where they are more likely to be hired. They will provide career counselors who can help the refugees create resumes and help them improve their interview skills. This helps them monumentally in their quest to obtain work. Often times, the organization will even help them research and find a potential job that can at least temporarily help them support their families. In all three of these ways, the Danish Refugee Council is an income generator for families that are displaced by war or conflict.

The third war that the Danish Refugee Council helps refugees is through social rehabilitation. Often times, people who are displaced by the war suffer from many emotional and social problems. Many suffer from PTSD and many fall into a state of depression because of their situation. As I learned in AP Psychology in high school, the number one cause of mental disorders is the external situation that the individual is a part of. These refugees have been through a lot and been in situations that many of us can’t even imagine. The Danish Refugee Council will often bring in counselors and psychologists who can help rehabilitate the refugees. They can help them sort through their emotional and psychological problems so that they can once again become a functioning member of society. They can also simply help improve their overall happiness which can lead to more opportunities ahead of the refugees. The Danish Refugee Council believes that this is some of the most important work that they do. They believe that the social rehabilitation of the refugees is just as important as providing them with shelter or helping them find income.

The Danish Refugee Council is responsible for helping people displaced by war by building homes, generating income, and providing social rehabilitation.

The Danish Refugee Council is responsible for helping people displaced by war by building homes, generating income, and providing social rehabilitation.

Sources used in research:


http://www.lanouvellecentrafrique.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/DRC-logo_thumb.jpg (Image source)



G4S – Private Military Company


Lenz, Megan

Group 4 Securicor, more commonly referred to as G4S, is a private military company made up of 625,000+ employees. Located in Crawley, West Sussex, it is listed as a security agency, and is the second-largest private employer in the world, only behind Wal-Mart. This company operates in bank security, prison security, and airport security, but most importantly, in crisis zones of the world. In 2008, G4S bought out another security company, Armorgroup, which was made up of 9000 guards who were responsible for protecting about a third of all non-military convoys in Iraq. G4S has a security presence that spans through 125 countries, including the most dangerous parts of Africa and Latin America. G4S prides themselves for having extensive training for their contractors, including heavily-armed security forces, land-mine clearing, military intelligence, and military training. Currently, G4S is occupying Israel and Palestine, mainly in the prison system in Israel and along checkpoints of West Bank.

G4S is a non-governmental organization, meaning that it was not created by the government, and largely cannot be regulated by the government. This being said, this private military group has more freedom to take action in the way they see fit, which can be much different from how the United States military operates. Since they are not under direct government control, they can use more brute force and violence to further their efforts in fighting. However, with this lack of regulation comes media backlash. G4S has been accused of disregarding basic human rights when dealing with conflict in these crisis areas. They have been said to use unacceptable measures of force to complete their missions. This truth reveals that this PMF is more willing to do dangerous and questionable things, which may appeal to radicals in crisis areas, who are not as concerned with the well-being of people not involved in the fight. Contractors become more appealing to these groups, as they can work together more closely and along the same lines to finish their missions. By creating this name for themselves in these conflict areas, civilians may be more wary of these contractors, and not trust them in social situations. The NGOs operate independently from the government and nation they are headquartered in, ultimately giving them more freedom in their actions.


The City of Joy and Hope

Ayala, Erica


When searching through vast amounts of NGO’s online, I noticed very many of them were geared towards a similar issue. I found that the majority stood up for sexual violence against women and were vessels that promoted healthier living spaces for women who have endured any abuse. In areas all over the world there are women who have been victims of sexual violence such as rape, battery, sex slavery and genital mutilation. It is predicted that one in three women in the world have experienced some form of sexual violence at least once in their lifetime. One NGO in particular is referred to as the City of Joy, which is in partnership with an international campaign, V-day, centralized in Bukavu, in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The DRC began seeing an influx of sexual violence after the Rwandan Genocides in the mid-1990s when militia men began fleeing to the Congo and used sexual violence as a form of torture. Just recently in 2008, rape became a weapon of war in the DRC, thus the increase in sexual abuse to women. This violence not only harms and ruins the lives of individuals but can spread as far as an entire community creating inabilities or dangers in procreating. Many of the women fell victim to the violence that was not their violence to endure. They were stigmatized and usually rejected from their communities with no where to go and to sit in shame of something outside of their control. The City of Joy was created to help take in these women suffering from an unruly fate.

The City of Joy is not like other NGO’s. The City of Joy is a community where survivors of sexual violence live together and help each other and themselves to recover and create better futures. It’s also different in that it doesn’t see the women that they are helping as victims, but as survivors. These survivors come together to live in a community and thrive as they lead a community of powerful women to recover and be empowering to others who are affected. In this community of about 90 each year, the women uniquely find their value in society and understand their right to be treated with respect, compassion, and dignity. Although sexual violence has not ended in the Congo, there have been many steps towards providing safer as well as more positive environments for women who survive this damaging act of violence.





Social Impact of Terror in Thailand


           According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of terror is “a very strong feeling of fear; something that causes very strong feelings of fear; violence that is committed by a person, group, or government in order to frighten people and achieve a political goal”. Terror can be defined in many different ways and by many different people and is sometimes if not always, subjective. As Americans, the first thing we think of when “terror” or “terrorism” is brought up is the tragedy of 9/11, and how many countries against the US perform acts of terrorism. What we don’t think is how the US is viewed to other countries and that we can as well be considered terrorists. This is also true about government and political agendas use/coverage of terror can elevate what their mission to complete or control as well.

            Thailand has been under political turmoil for quite sometime now, and much violence has happened since the beginning of this year. With Yingluck Shinawatra, former prime minister of Thailand, forced to step down, military dictator General Prayuth Chan-ocha has stepped up enforcing laws favoring the royalists and going to extreme measures on the crackdowns of the Red Shirt demonstrations. Many civilians have lost their political voice and have been killed for it, if and when they speak against the Thai royal family. Although it may seem the country is going through a political crisis, it is also acts of terrorism…inversely though.

            A few days ago, the premier of The Hunger Games Mockingjay part one was set to play in theatres all over the world including Thailand. In the movie the character along with rebellion districts depect a symbol against “the capitol”, the government system in place during the movie. This symbol is raising three fingers up. Due to General Prayuth’s extreme measures of keeping civilians obedient, many people chose the symbolic route to depict their political views and what they think about the military coup intheir country. Just like the movie, the people are rising against their government powers. To the Royalists and Snow (character in movie), they view the movement as terrioists attacks. It has completely affected Thailand’s socially because a symbol, three fingers, can cause an uproal that leads to arrestment of civilians and something so basic such as a movie being banned from the country. Prayuth fears that influence from a movie can give momentum to an uprising against the Royalists and overthrow his position as prime minister. He belives if his opponent party is in control, the downfall of Thailand is inevitable. What him and the Royalist members do not see is that what they view as terrorist attacks or symbols of terriorism is simply a silent protest and due to illegalizing the propaganda and the movie itself, it has elevated into a significant act that can bring significant consequences. “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear” (hunger games) but before it brings hope, fear has a way of controlling a country and potentially bringing it down.

http://www.franchiseherald.com/articles/14817/20141121/hunger-games-mockingjay-part-showing.htm (pic link)

By: Tamarind Jitnoom

Public Resilience and the Impact of Terror

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Across the globe, terrorist attacks kill and wound thousands of men, women, and children each year while concurrently causing massive social, political, and economic damage. Images portray devastating aftermath of explosions, drone strikes, and often terrifying depictions of mass destruction done to infrastructure, and in such a context, it would be natural to expect that the fear and threat of terrorism would have a crippling psychological effect on society. In some respects, the evidence is surprisingly optimistic. Even in the wake of catastrophic attacks such those on September 11th, 2001, American society overall displayed a quick recovery. In the days immediately after the attacks, stress reactions and anxiety were very common and obviously severely prevalent, but these symptoms did not persist in a manner as to depict absolute loss; there was work to be done, and it was going to be completed as one nation.

In the case of Northern Ireland terrorist attacks were occurring on a daily basis and the expectation was that fear itself would have a lasting detrimental impact on the public social sphere during initial stages of conflict in the 1970s. Tremendous fear arose among the public who felt increased violence occurring as a result of the fear from terrorism would cripple Northern Ireland psychologically as well as severely alter the societal structure. The psychological collapse of the population, however, never happened (Curran; 1998). Even at the height of the troubles, again, Northern Irish society displayed a remarkable resilience to the violence.

This is not to say that society as a whole showed complete immunity to the effects of frequent terrorist attacks. It was very clear that while Northern Irish society on a whole seemed to have escaped with relatively low levels of loss from violence, aspects of certain social spheres within the nation did show signs of suffering. Proximity to terrorist violence was an important factor, on average, the closer one was to an attack, the more of an impact was felt. Suffering physical injuries as a result of an attack was strongly associated with increased psychological trauma in which survivors of terrorist attacks often show high levels of PTSD.

In the face of fear itself, individuals identified more strongly with the community around them. In the wake of terrorist attacks, always with the threat of further attacks to come, Northern Irish communities bonded closer together, providing increased support to an extending network of members contributing to the public social sphere as a whole. The result was that the psychological ill effects felt by the direct victims of terrorism could be buffered by a state of increased support which rebounded psychological well-being in the entire community.

Works Cited:

Curran, Andrew. “Ireland in the Late 1960s and 1970s.” Ireland in the Late 1960s and 1970s. N.p., 12 Apr. 1998. Web. 22 Nov. 2014.


Eloy Perez

Post #11 Terror in Mexico

Mendez, Denise


Terror is basically fear, it creates fear in whatever its target is. It has a lot of social impact as well. Terror is usually started by a group of people or even one person that may be a dictator, that group or person makes sure that the civilians get the message, and install fear in them all. This is where they create terror. Recently and the past few years Mexico has been all over the news, not only for the immigrants trying to come into our country but for the drug cartel or a group known as the Zetas that have put fear into Mexico that created terror that changed a lot of social things.

As a kid I started going to Mexico every year during the summer for about two weeks from when i was about 7, until about 13. My family and I stopped going because of this group that was growing quickly and installing fear in everyone, even just visitors. By my family and i not going to visit anymore is just one of the many social changes that came from the terror of the drug cartels (the Zetas). Los Zetas started around 1999 but became a threat in 2010 when they broke away from Mexico’s army.

Los Zetas use many terror tactics, recently there was a video released that showed them beheading 4 innocent women. This is just one of the terror tactics, this group show no mercy to anyone. There located the most across the border from Laredo, i guess to smuggle drugs more easily, but thats also a reason visitors or people living near have so much fear. If they see someone with a nice car, they can stop you and take it from you, and if your lucky you’ll survive even if you don’t put up a fight.

Overall Los Zetas have installed fear into all of Mexico, with all of there terror tactics. The terror they put in Mexico has impacted the social system a lot. From not having a lot of visitors to even removing the soldier they had at the boarder (they did this recently). The Drug Cartel has put implicated so much terror that Mexico is defiantly not the same as it was 10 years ago, Terror can change so many things. It can destroy a city, and even a whole country.



India Williams Post #11: The Social Impact of 9/11 on the Muslim American Community

One of the most well-known terrorist attacks in America was the bombing of the Twin Towers, otherwise known as 9/11. The operation was ran by an Islamic terrorist group by the name of al-Qaeda. With their new status of murdering over 2,000 American citizens, the Muslims were officially added to the top of America’s hit list. But not only did the attack pay a huge emotional toll on American citizens and families, but it also had a complex emotional, social, and economic impact of Muslim American communities.

For the past twelve years, Muslim American’s and innocent Arab, South Asian, and African Muslim immigrants have been bullied, accused of being terrorist and discriminated against due to the decisions of the al-Qaeda. Many people see them on a plane, and immediately fear for their lives that they will be blown up (1). This has made it extremely hard for Muslim Americans to go around and be themselves. Many of them felt grief and sorrow for American families as well as shame for the stereotype that was now placed on their religion to be evil.

Furthermore, not only were all innocent Muslim citizens looked at to be responsible for the damage done by the al-Qaeda, but as the United States security in airports became stricter, they were hated even more. Paranoia was also a huge reaction whenever Muslims were around. The sight of a Muslim head wrap turned people the other way as if it was a disgrace to even walk past them. This is where the emotional toll came in. Muslims still struggle to this day, even after the assassination of the leader of the al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, with being out in public, because so many people still look at them as though they are demonic creatures. This is an act of terror that changed America’s outlook on one of the most popular religious races in our country.

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1.) http://messageinternational.org/the-impact-of-911-on-the-muslim-community/

Terror Attacks Influence Driving Behavior in Israel

Cathryn Beeson-Lynch

Researchers, Dr. Joshua Goldstein, a sociology professor at Princeton University, and Dr. Guy Stecklov of Hebrew University, found a link between terrorist attacks and traffic accidents. The study examined an 18-month period between 2001 and 2002 in Israel. It showed that on the third day following terror attacks the number of fatal traffic accidents increased by 35 percent. The percent increased to 69 when the terror attacks killed 10 or more people.

In order to conduct their study, Stecklov and Goldstein examined the records of terrorist attacks in Israel and the country’s traffic statistics. After analyzing 63 terror attacks, they found statistically significant effects on the number of fatal traffic accidents. In conjunction with increased fatalities on the third day following the attack, researchers also found a decrease in the number of less serious, non-fatal accidents. They speculated that the decrease might have resulted from a decrease in accident reports rather than a legitimate decrease in the number of minor accidents. One hypothesis for the increase is that some of the fatal accidents are suicides. This hypothesis mirrors ideas supported by other studies on suicides, which found that traffic fatalities increase three days after highly publicized fatalities and suicides.

Researchers are still exploring the connection between the two events. However, they view the study as a critical first step in combining social science techniques with questions concerning the material consequences of terrorism. Specifically, the research provides implications for the bridge between the sociological study of society-wide effects and the psychological study of individual-level mental reactions to catastrophic events. A psychology professor at Princeton University, Dr. Eldar Shafir, calls for more psychologists to become engaged in this particular study because it calls into question how people make decisions in situations marked by uncertainty and conflict. Therefore, while there is no conclusive evidence to support the connection between terrorist attacks and the subsequent increase in fatal car crashes, it does provide implications for further questions pertaining to the social and psychological consequences of terrorist attacks.


Time series for traffic volume, traffic accidents, and terror fatalities in Israel from January 1, 2001, to June 22, 2002. (a) As measured on the Ayalon Freeway by the Ayalon Freeway Management Company. Traffic volume is a measure of the average flow of vehicles per hour. Peak traffic hours refer to traffic between 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Off-peak traffic hours refer to 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. (b-d) All three accident categories refer to the number of persons injured or killed in automobile-related accidents. Light accident injuries refer to injuries that require no more than 24 h of hospitalization. Serious accident injuries refer to those requiring >24 h of hospitalization. (e) Terror fatalities defined as terror events within Israel (excluding West Bank and Gaza) with at least one Israeli fatality. The dashed line marks particularly large terror attacks with 10 or more fatalities (source).

Works Cited:

  • Stecklov, G. “Terror Attacks Influence Driving Behavior in Israel.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences101.40 (2004): 14551-4556. PNAS Online. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.