A gift that saves lives

Omega has a tradition of giving a Christmas donation to charity and this year is no different. This year the Christmas donation from Omega is 400.000 NOK to Doctors Without Borders.

Foto: Leger Uten Grenser

Doctors Without Borders is an international humanitarian medical non-governmental organization that was established in 1971 and was founded on the principle that everyone who are facing a crisis has the right to medical aid regardless of gender, race, religion, ethnicity or political affiliation.

“Omega has a tradition to support a neutral organization which helps in crises, with humanitarian and social work, or otherwise directly contributes to saving lives and create the basis for the best possible life for those in our world who have the most difficulties,” says CFO for Omega Kjell Tore Helgeland.

The organization is present in warzones, move out after natural disasters and gives medical help to refugees, as well as being present in areas affected by chronic crises and where the health service is poor. They have projects in 72 countries and have a total of almost 500 projects around the world and treat millions of patients every year.

Independent, impartial and neutral

Doctors Without Borders mainly receive money support via private donations and it is important for the organization to be independent. This principle is what makes it possible for them to respond rapidly to emergencies and provide lifesaving medical care in situations without governmental restrictions.

It is important for the organization to speak out and tell the world what they see, and they work towards the principle that: “We are not sure that words can always save lives, but we know that silence can certainly kill.”

They consider it necessary to speak out and tell the world about abuse and forgotten crises that they witness on a firsthand perspective - because when people know, less are dying.

"Our fieldworkers keep clinics and hospitals in about 70 countries open during Christmas. This gift from Omega is a very important contribution and makes it possible to give medical aid where it is needed most. On behalf of our patients, Thank you! Together we save lives,” says Lars Knudsen, responsible for corporate donations in Doctors Without Borders.

Help where it is most needed

Doctors Without Borders do not wish to tie the donations to one specific cause, because they want to act fast to save people based on need alone. Some examples of what 400.000 NOK equals in terms of help.

400.000 NOK gives 133.000 children lifesaving vaccine against measles.

400.000 NOK gives medications to 152.000 people affected with malaria.

400.000 NOK equivalent emergency kits to treat more than 20.000 persons for 3 months.

The world’s largest outbreak of measles finds place in Kongo these days. There are 269,000 cases registered thus far this year. More than 5 400 diseased which are mostly children less than 5 years old. Doctors Without Borders have vaccinated more than 800.000 children and adults, and 40.000 have been treated for measles this year. 

Omega contributes to charity and sponsorship every year. These donations are intended as a contribution to giving children and youth a better life, both children in need and medical help and or organized activity in a local sports team. “We want to help the next generation to have a better everyday life,” says Helgeland.