A 5th year medical student and keen traveller, Philippe Chabasse met Bernard Kouchner one evening in November 1978. This would mark the beginning of his commitment to humanitarian work and would lead twenty years later to his award, with his associates in Handicap International, of the Nobel Peace Prize for their campaign against anti-personnel mines. Brimming with anecdotes, this book alternates between stories and analyses of the trends in the humanitarian aid sector and its place in the world of international diplomacy and cooperation. Philippe Chabasse shares with us the high points of his working life and paints pictures of some of the characters he has come across and who, like him, help to ensure the existence of a minimum of international solidarity. This is a fascinating book for anyone interested in these issues, but also for those, young or old, who dream of becoming involved.
Philippe Chabasse has spent practically the whole of his career in the international aid sector – first with Médecins Sans Frontières, as a doctor and then a programme manager. In 1983, he joined Handicap International of which he was to be one of the three co-directors for 20 years. In 1992, he helped to set up the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (Nobel Peace Prize 1997). He is currently secretary general of the Handicap International Federation and also works with the non-profit organisation Habitat et Humanisme.
Translated from the French by Fay Guerry.