Inspiring Live Aid13 Dec 2005, PR 110/05 One of the most enduring images of Michael Buerk's BBC coverage of the 1984 famine in Ethiopia was of a young British nurse, who, surrounded by 85,000 starving people, had the terrible task of choosing which children to allow into the feeding centre, and which were too far gone to be saved.
That nurse was Claire Bertschinger and those pictures inspired Bob Geldof to make the original Band Aid single and organise the Live Aid concert held in 1985: the biggest relief programme the world had ever seen. The Live 8 concerts this year were, in turn, directly inspired by Live Aid
Claire will be giving a lecture entitled The pebble that became an avalanche: inspiring Live Aid today (Tuesday 13 December) at 17.00 in the Stamford Street Lecture Theatre, Waterloo campus. She will talk about her book Moving Mountains and answers questions on her experiences.
Michael Buerk said Moving Mountains was the story ‘one of the true heroines of our times', and said of Claire Bertschinger that she was: ‘An ordinary woman who did extraordinary things and really did move mountains'.
Her achievements have been recognised with the award of the Florence Nightingale Medal (the Red Cross Movement's highest international distinction award for the nursing profession), and one of the 2005 Women Of The Year Lunch And Assembly Awards (winning the ‘Women of the Year Window to the World Award' which acknowledges dedication to work, often in demanding and difficult circumstances, opening our eyes to a world we otherwise would not have known about or even tried to understand.)
Claire now lives in the UK and teaches at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Her lecture is the first in a new series of Dean's lectures organised by the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery.Notes to editors
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