In Memoriam: Five MSF victims in Afghanistan

Hélène de Beir (29) fought with passion for the rights of people worldwide. After her studies in International Relations and Law in Washington, Bologna and Brussels she specialised in humanitarian issues. She worked as Humanitarian Affairs Officer for MSF (Holland) in Ivory Coast and Iraq before becoming a Project Coordinator in Badghis, Afghanistan in May 2004. Through her enormous commitment and desire to act she became a driving force in a difficult project. Hélène's positive personality and cheerfulness made her a much loved colleague. Behind her youthful appearance was a strong woman who knew exactly what she wanted. Hélène would have celebrated her 30th birthday on the 16th June. Her death has hit us hard. Our thoughts are with her family and boyfriend.

Egil Tynaes (62) worked as a senior doctor at the Municipal Outdoor Clinic in Bergen, Norway. During his periods of special leave he frequently used his medical experience to help populations in need in other parts of the world. He worked for MSF-Switzerland in 2002 in Baharak, Afghanistan and later went on to work for MSF (Holland) in Badghis in March 2004. Here he worked on a tuberculosis project and trained local medical staff. Egil succeeded like nobody else in making real contact with the Afghan patients. He became very close to the people and managed to gain their confidence. His creative solutions and original ideas to improve the quality of work will be missed dearly. But even more so his warm heart and sensitive nature. Egil leaves behind his wife, three children and five grandchildren.

Pim Kwint (39) wanted to help people in need. He put his own IT-company on hold in order to work for MSF (Holland). He brought a mountain of technical and IT experience with him. Since June 2003 he worked as all-round logistician in Badghis, Afghanistan. He wanted enormously to make a contribution and seemed to have found his calling. Pim was the ideal person for the job in difficult circumstances, always willing to go out of his way for other people and happy to get his hands dirty. He had endless energy and a great sense of responsibility. Time after time he succeeded in motivating the local staff and cheering up his colleagues and so became a indispensable team member. Pim was expected home in two weeks time by his family, friends and girlfriend. We are devastated by his death.

Besmillah worked as a driver for MSF (Holland) in Badghis, Afghanistan since October 2003. As an adept driver and mechanic, he was an important member of the local Afghan staff. He gave great support to his foreign colleagues, not only as a source of information and advice, but also because of his calm yet enthusiastic personality. The work that MSF was doing in his country was very dear to him. He thought it was very important for basic medical care to be available for the Afghan people and covered the huge distances between the different projects untiringly on a daily basis. We are shocked by his death. During the course of his employment with MSF (Holland) Besmillah became the proud father of a little girl.

Fasil Ahmad had only worked as translator for MSF in Badghis, Afghanistan for a couple of weeks. After an extensive search, the team in Badghis was very pleased to have found in Fasil a qualified Afghan translator. It is tragic that he had to pay for his contribution with his life. Our compassion goes to his family and friends.