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What is Forced From Home?
Forced From Home is an interactive, educational outdoor exhibition presented by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). It is designed to raise public awareness about the experience of the world’s 60 million refugees and internally displaced people. Guided by experienced MSF aid workers, visitors gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like to be forced from their homes, and the vital medical and humanitarian aid MSF provides.
Who is Doctors Without Borders?
Doctors Without Borders, known internationally as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), is an independent medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters, and exclusion from health care all over the world. MSF offers assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender, or political affiliation.
MSF was founded in Paris, France, in 1971. Its principles are described in the organization’s founding charter. It is a non-profit, self-governed organization.
Today, MSF is a worldwide movement of 24 associations, bound together as MSF International, based in Switzerland.
Over 35,000 health professionals and logistical and administrative staff—most of whom are hired locally—work on programs in more than 60 countries worldwide.
What can I expect to see at the exhibition?
Visitors begin their experience inside a 30-foot dome watching a 360° video introducing contexts and issues causing people to flee their homes. With an experienced MSF aid worker as their guide, visitors are then led through an interactive exhibition employing a blend of new technology and field-tested medical and logistical humanitarian resources. The exhibition also gives visitors the opportunity to view materials and images gathered from refugee camps, Mediterranean rescue missions, and MSF’s projects working with displaced populations around the world.
Will I be able to interact with experienced MSF aid workers?
Absolutely. All of our guides and many of the personnel staffing the exhibit are aid workers that have worked on MSF programs overseas, along with staff from MSF’s New York City office.
Is this a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders?
In addition to providing medical aid, one of MSF’s key missions is to bear witness on behalf of our patients. Forced From Home is first and foremost a public education program to raise awareness about the experience of the world’s 60 million refugees and internally displaced people.
Where else has Forced From Home been exhibited? Where will it be on display next?
Forced From Home is a brand new event, and will travel to a number of northeastern United States cities in late 2016. Further detail on the locations and dates of the 2016 tour are available here.
In 2017 and 2018, the exhibition will travel to more major cities across the United States.
What about homelessness here in the United States? Does this exhibition address that?
As an international medical humanitarian aid organization, MSF only works overseas. This exhibition focuses on the refugees and displaced populations in some of the areas where we work.
The exhibition is marketed as interactive. What can I expect, and do I have to participate if I visit the exhibition?
We aim to make the exhibition as informative and educational as possible, and as such the experience has been designed to encourage visitors to imagine what life is like for the 60 million people on the move globally. All interactive elements are optional and visitors are not required to participate if they do not wish to.
How long does each tour take?
From the time the tour begins, you will spend about 45 minutes being guided through the exhibition by your aid worker tour guide. The best way to minimize the wait for your tour is to register for a specific time slot here. There is also a series of optional activities at the end of the guided tour, including a virtual reality experience, social media interactions, and a chance to spend some time asking more questions of your guide.
Can I take photos?
Yes, and we encourage you to do so! Feel free to share them on social media using the hashtag #ForcedFromHome.
Can I bring my pet?
Unfortunately, we’re unable to accommodate pets within the exhibition. Service animals are permitted.
What health issues are highlighted in the exhibition?
The exhibition will primarily focus on the experience of the world’s 60 million refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs). Health issues include upper respiratory chest infections, skin infections, cholera, maternal health, and chronic and neglected diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. The exhibition will also briefly touch on new challenges that MSF faces such as diabetes, hypertension, and others.
What human rights/political issues are highlighted in the exhibition?
In addition to the basic human right to access to medical care, the exhibition also explores issues such as the factors that cause people to flee their homes; the legal status(es) they have along their journeys; and their access to basic needs such as food, shelter, and clean, safe water. International agreements governing the responsibilities of various government and nongovernment entities will also be addressed.
Does Forced From Home address the immigrant situation in the US today?
Though this exhibition does address issues such as destination, shelter, and legal status, the exhibition does not focus on resettlement issues. Through this exhibition, we aim to provide our visitors with facts about the realities of life for the world’s 60 million refugees.
Is the exhibition appropriate for all ages?
The tour is most appropriate for those aged twelve and older. Children younger than twelve must be accompanied by an adult. Parents with children in strollers are welcome to attend, but due to space constraints in the exhibition strollers may not enter the exhibition itself. A “stroller park” will be available and staffed by a volunteer, but MSF is not responsible for any lost property.
Is there any graphic material on display within the exhibition?
No, there is no graphic material on display. While photos of our patients, staff, and the contexts in which we work will be on display, this content is appropriate for all ages and does not depict violence, blood, gore, or death.
I visited A Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City in a previous year; is this the same exhibition?
Forced From Home is a brand-new exhibition that specifically focuses on people on the move. While the guided tour format is similar, visitors that previously attended A Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City can expect an entirely different experience at Forced From Home.
Are tours available in languages other than English?
We will conduct one Spanish language tour and one French language tour per city. To sign up for these tours, please check the events listings per city.
Is the event free?
Do I need a ticket to enter?
The best way to plan your visit is to book a free tour via the sign up page for your city. This will allow you entry during a 30-minute time slot. Walk-ups are also accepted, but depending on attendance, you might have to wait a little longer.
The time slot I want is listed as “sold out.” What can I do? Do you have a waiting list?
We do not have a waiting list, but we do accept walk-ups. If your preferred time is not available, you can still come to the exhibit, but you might have to wait a little longer in line.
If I need to reschedule or cancel a tour I’ve registered for, what should I do?
Space at the exhibit is limited, so if you can’t make it please cancel your reservation in order to make that time available for another visitor.
The best way to cancel a tour is through our reservation system on Eventbrite. There are cancellation instructions in the confirmation email you received when you booked your visit. If you lost this email, just follow these instructions on the Eventbrite website.
To reschedule, cancel your tickets following the instructions above and rebook for a time that suits you. If no tickets are available for the time that you want, you can still attend and enter via the walk-up line.
Will I be notified if my tour is cancelled?
Forced From Home is an all-weather event, so the chances of cancellation are slim. If we determine that the weather will make the event unsafe we’ll notify you via our Eventbrite reservation system. You can also stay up-to-date on events in your city by following the @forcedfromhome Twitter account, or through your city’s page on forcedfromhome.com.
Can I visit the exhibition by myself without a tour guide?
Being guided by an MSF aid worker through the exhibition is an integral part of the experience. You’ll hear first-hand experiences and stories and be able to ask questions. Self-guided tours are not available.
I am a teacher and would like to arrange a student field trip to the exhibition. What’s the best way to do this?
You can learn more about planned school field trips to the exhibition here. The best way to arrange a field trip is to contact us directly. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you set up a field trip visit.
How do I make a reservation for a large group?
Groups of up to 20 can book through our regular system at forcedfromhome.com. For groups over 20 people, please contact us at email@example.com.
What is the best way to get to the exhibition?
As much as possible, we encourage our visitors to take public transportation, as parking is limited in many of our locations. The best source for all of this information is the Locations page.
Can I bring my gun?
Much like our medical facilities, we do not allow weapons of any type inside the exhibition site.
Is there any exposure to food allergy risks?
No, food is not part of the exhibition.
Is the exhibition accessible for visitors with disabilities?
The exhibition is wheelchair-accessible, and we have volunteers available to help guide blind and vision impaired visitors. Additionally, we will have one tour per city with an ASL interpreter. To sign up for these tours, please check the events listings per city. For any further questions about accessibility at the exhibition, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are food and drink available at the exhibition?
Drinking water is available on site free of charge. There is no food or drink for sale within the exhibition.
Are there toilets available at the exhibition?
Yes, toilets are available at or nearby the exhibition site in each city.
Are there lockers or is there somewhere I can leave a children’s stroller?
There aren’t any lockers on site and due to the nature of the event we recommend you carry as little as possible with you. We will have a place for parents to park strollers however MSF can’t be held responsible for these items.
I am interested in helping out at this exhibition. Do you take volunteers? How can I sign up?
Yes, we have volunteer opportunities available at Forced From Home! Typical volunteer opportunities include helping us set up the exhibition, checking in visitors, helping us manage the flow of visitor traffic, as well as many other tasks. For more information, please complete the form on this page and our Volunteer Coordinator will be in touch.
I am interested in working for Doctors Without Borders, either in the New York City office or internationally. Who should I contact?
Doctors Without Borders conducts ongoing recruitment for both field workers and office staff. Further information about positions available and the recruitment process is available here.
I work for a press/media organization, who should I contact to arrange a press tour and/or interviews?
Please visit the press page for more information.
I am interested in partnering with or donating to Doctors Without Borders. Who should I contact?
I lost something at the exhibition site, who should contact?
Please contact us directly at email@example.com with your name, cell number, a description of the item/s, and when you attended the exhibition. We’ll do our best to help.