MARDi was formally created in January 2019 by Harriet Crook, a Junior Doctor in the UK, and Elena Lydon, an experienced Emergency Department Nurse in Ireland, joined shortly after by Harriet Payne, a Paediatric Intensive Care Nurse in the UK. Prior to this we had mostly worked in Calais and Paris and found a major gap in the healthcare provision for refugees in the Paris Refugee Camps. At this point, supported by friends who we regularly volunteered with supporting refugees stranded in camps across Europe, we decided to organise.
The Paris Refugee Crisis, as part of the wider European Refugee Crisis, is a deliberate, racist and unforgivable abuse of human rights. As Europeans, we cannot sit by and watch the persecution of refugees in our name. We cannot wait for politicians, the media, and popular opinion to change, we must act now by standing in solidarity with our sisters and brothers, refugees. MARDi aims to do just that by not only providing essential frontline medical care but also by showing refugees in person that there is a strong, compassionate side to Europe that welcomes refugees, hears their struggle, accepts responsibility, and will fight for them.
Today, MARDi has grown into an international volunteer collective of over 1000 members run by a small team from several countries across Europe and North America. We work full-time medical jobs in these various countries whilst running the MARDi clinic with our ever-growing volunteer staff bank on a rolling rota and are expanding our services to the UK and other European countries through our MARDi@Home project which focuses on supporting refugees newly settled to our countries in whatever way is needed. We are registered in France (SIREN no. 892120353).
Our Core Team:
- Harriet Crook - Co-Founder, Paris Project Coordinator, MARDi@Home Coordinator, Doctor
- Elena Lydon - Co-Founder, Nurse
- Harriet Payne: Volunteer Coordinator, MARDi@Home Coordinator, Nurse
- Katy Last: Fundraising and Financial Coordinator, Nurse
- Ashley Colla-Hafer: Paris Link, Nurse
We believe every human being is equal and we must fight any system that challenges this.