The term “commitment” strikes a particular chord nowadays: there is a human need, sometimes a vital one, to feel needed. In a society in search of meaning where young people, generations Y and Z, the “millennials”, feel more and more they want to act for the common good, but increasingly question how best to do this, this is a subject that called for methodical treatment.
Francis Charhon is an intensive-care anaesthetist, and was appointed president of Médecins Sans Frontières in 1980 before becoming its executive director. In 1986 he set up the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and International Health and later became executive director of the Fondation de France, thereby encountering all aspects of commitment. He is also a member of the steering council of Humanitarian Alternatives.
Translated from the French by Fay Guerry.