We do so because we still need to and with the knowledge that - if we continue walking today - it is also because someone before us had the strength to take the first step.
It has been one year since we lost Dr Gino Strada, the founder of EMERGENCY, the war surgeon, the peace activist, the man.
He had a boundless belief in humanity and abhorred inequality. He chose medicine as the means to express that humanity, devoting himself to his practice and, above all, to his patients.
By continuing to treat patients, today and every day, we pay tribute to Gino’s life, which he dedicated to realising healthcare as a human right in the midst of war and poverty.
He gave EMERGENCY the principles that will always guide us: “Treating the wounded is neither generous nor merciful; it is only just. It has to be done.” In these words, you see the sheer ethical and professional stature of the man. He always strove for solidarity and mutual respect, to keep the world together. He was a visionary, a utopian, and believed that pragmatic choices could help make this a reality. Foremost among those choices was to abolish war: the most idealistic of statements, yet one that can become the most realistic truism, if only it is embraced by all.
We at EMERGENCY are intent on furthering Gino’s tangible principles by practising peace through medicine, honouring his belief in humanity, and the right of all people to have access to the highest quality of medical care.
To Gino Strada, in loving memory. His legacy is imprinted forever in our mandate.
Picture by Giles Duley