MSF Urban Spaces Overview 2018-2021
MSF Urban Spaces initiative, developed as an MSF Transformation Investment Capacity (TIC), in 2018. It aimed to develop a participatory approach to organizing action with communities, by engaging MSF members, volunteers and staff with civil society actors, in support of the most vulnerable groups of society.
By 2021, this approach has been implemented in 15 cities in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe, in the context of migration, COVID-19 and climate change. It engaged hundreds of MSF and local volunteers in its activities. During it, over 100 partnerships have been created and more than 10.000 civil society actors and individual citizens, were reached with solidarity action. From 2018-2021, it has been managed from MSF Greece and from August 2021, supported by MSF International Associative Team.
Our aims are:
- Organizing action with communities and building capacity with and within local communities, in support of the ones most in need.
- Connecting our cities, learning and getting inspired to take action, by one another’s best practices.
Watch at a glance what MSF Urban Spaces is all about HERE.
2018 – 2019
In 2018 – 2019 the MSF Urban Spaces initiative was launched in the cities of Athens, Istanbul Johannesburg, Mexico City, Montreal and Turin. MSF association members and volunteers formed local teams of action in solidarity of migrants and refugees and in collaboration with local communities, civil society actors and migrants and refuges initiatives. Cities became hubs of action, were local teams of action, developed and implemented numerous activities with the aim to stand in solidarity with migrants and refuges communities.
2020 – 2021
In 2020 – 2021 the MSF Urban Spaces initiative was scaled up to 15 locations in total. These include the cities of Athens, Thessaloniki, Turin, Rome, Palermo, Bergamo, Barcelona, Johannesburg, New Delhi, Kathmandu, Istanbul, Montreal, Mexico City, Nairobi, Nigeria/Jigawa State). Given the COVID-19 pandemic, activities focus has been on addressing challenges of the pandemic and how to organize action with local communities, so as to support most vulnerable groups of society. The approach and tools demonstrated, they can be successfully adapted to another context and offer a space of active engagement of volunteers and partnering with civil society actors. Besides COVID-19, the local MSF Urban Spaces team, in South Asia Regional Association (SARA), applied the approach to organize action on climate crisis and health. Since 2018, among the hundreds activities implemented in the context of Migration, Covid-19 pandemic and Climate Crisis and Health were: educational activities at schools, solidarity campaigns and open events, awareness raising activities and informative sessions for migrant and refugee communities, women leadership empowerment activities in remote areas. a.o.
Watch who are the people we reached and engaged in the initiative, HERE.