I am Heidi Anguria, a paediatric nurse from Lübeck. I have been working with MSF for more than 25 years now. When my son left home a few years ago I gave up my job at the University Hospital in Lübeck in order to only work for MSF from that moment on.
Previously my assignments always took me to African countries. But since early January 2017, I have been part of a completely different project: for three months I will be working with MSF on the rescue ship 'MV Aquarius'. Together with our colleagues from the organisation SOS Méditerranée we cruise in the Mediterranean Sea, off the Libyan coast, to rescue refugees from totally unseaworthy boats – and thereby save them from certain drowning.
Since February 2016 the Aquarius has rescued more than 6.900 people from drowning, including 1,000 children under five. There were even three births on board last year. But more than 5,000 people died in the Mediterranean in 2016 during their attempt to seek protection in Europe.
For me, this assignment is a completely new challenge. One thing is already clear to me: I love this job – and I love the rough sea!