Frequently Asked Questions

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We have answered some common questions about donating or working in the field with MSF below. Click on the questions that are relevant to you below. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please visit the main donations or work in the field page for more information.


Donate to MSF?

  • How does my monthly contribution help MSF?

    With regular donations, we can better plan our actions and act quickly in emergencies anywhere in the world. As an independent organisation that relies solely on our donors for funding, your support is absolutely crucial to our ability to provide medical assistance to millions of people.

  • Who contributes to MSF?

    Our funds are raised through private contributors - the vast majority are people like you. Private support is essential to our ability to operate independently and to respond at a moment’s notice to the most urgent needs around the world.

  • How do I know if my donation is being applied correctly?

    One of the principles of MSF is transparency. We are audited by an independent accounting firm. We publish an annual activity report which explains our project activities. As a donor, you will receive this report at your chosen address. You can also read the reports. 

  • How do I increase my donation?

    There are a number of ways you can increase your regular donation. You can call our office toll-free on 0800 000 331, send an e-mail to our donor care team at

  • Does MSF South Africa accept donations of food, clothing and medicines?

    No. MSF has developed standardised complete kits that are shipped quickly to the places where it operates. Other supplies are purchased locally, saving on shipping. This is more cost-effective than the storage, distribution and transportation of donated goods.

  • How long will I be an MSF donor?

    For any period you would want to help us save lives. There is no set time period. If one day you wish to suspend your donation, please contact us.

  • Who can I contact to chat about my donations?

    Please do not hesitate to contact our friendly Donor Care team on our toll-free line on 0800 000 331 or via email at

Work with Us

  • Are there career development opportunities?

    There are many long-term career opportunities with MSF. Gaining more and varied MSF field experience makes you eligible for positions such as Logistical, Medical, or Project Coordinator, or Head of Mission.

    There are also courses in areas such as project management, medical management, and logistics. If you are interested in a career with MSF you are encouraged to discuss your options with your Human Resource Officer at interview.

  • Are there any learning and development opportunities in the field?

    MSF strongly encourages people to continue working for the organisation beyond their first mission as their experience is of huge value to the effectiveness of our work. As such we offer various career opportunities to our field staff. You can broaden your professional experience by working on a variety of different aid programmes, and have access to learning and development.

  • What if I am injured or become ill?

    MSF arranges insurance cover which care and, if necessary, repatriation for field staff.

  • Am I covered by Insurance while I am in the field with MSF?

    MSF will arrange and cover you for all health insurance while on mission. This will continue for up to three months once you return home. In the event of medical evacuations, repatriation is also covered.

  • Is there any health screening before you go to the field?

    You will be required to complete a Health Declaration Form and if necessary undertake pre-departure health checks with a travel clinic. All medical information is confidential.

  • Do I get annual leave while working overseas for MSF?

    While you are working with MSF you are entitled to approximately days paid holiday per year pro rata.

  • Does MSF cover expenses?

    MSF covers the following expenses:

    • Return economy air travel for the most direct and cost-effective route to and from the project. This may include a stopover for briefing and debriefing in Europe.
    • Reimbursement for the cost of obtaining necessary visas (typically these are paid directly by MSF when organising your visa).
    • Vaccinations
    • Accommodation and transportation during your contract (including briefings and debriefings).
    • Per diem based on the cost of living in your project country.
    • All training costs if you are placed on one of our preparation courses.
    • Health insurance, including medical evacuations and repatriation, whilst on mission and for up to three months after return home.
  • Do your volunteers or international field staff get paid?

    International field staff receive an indemnity salary, currently 930 Euro per month their bank account. After one year of field experience the field worker will enter a salary grid, where salary depends on responsibility involved in the field position and also the amount of previous experience. Meanwhile, all the costs in the field would be covered by MSF.

  • Can my family accompany me on a mission?

    No. Living conditions in the field (security, housing, etc) make it difficult for field staff to be accompanied by children or partners who are not participating in the mission.

  • How long does the acceptance and matching process take?

    The application process on average takes around four to six months.

  • Can I volunteer in the MSF office in South Africa?

    Yes, we accept a number of office volunteers and unpaid office interns in our Johannesburg please visit the [link] on our website for more details.

  • As a medical student, what more can I do to prepare myself to work for MSF?

    Please enquire at your university about Friends of MSF (FoMSF) Societies. FoMSF are student based societies in universities around South Africa and the UK. FoMSF is run on a voluntary basis.

    Individual groups engage in various activities, like inviting returned volunteers to speak, film screenings, and other fundraising and careers-focused events.

    All FoMSF groups share three main objectives:

    1) To raise awareness of MSF’s work and humanitarian issues

    2) To encourage students to consider working for organisations such as MSF

    3) To raise funds for MSF

    Currently, FoMSF runs at 5 South African Universities, WITS, TUKS, UCT, Stellenbosch and UKZN.

  • Do you take junior doctors?

    We have a minimum requirement of two year's experience registration. As we receive many applications, we look for as wide a range of experience as possible.

    This can be made up of different placements but obviously longer placements may better reflect in-depth experience in working in unstable/difficult situations.

    Experience is necessary as we expect a high level of autonomy from our medics in the field.vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

  • Do you take dental hygienists/therapists?

    MSF does not recruit dentists.

  • Would having a criminal record bar me from working with MSF?

    Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from working with us. This will depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of your offences.

    As an organisation, we will obtain a copy of your criminal record during the recruitment process.

  • What kind of professions do you need?

    Follow the link for more information on who we need.

  • What kind of people work in the field for MSF?

    MSF recruits medical and non-medical staff to work in its projects. All of these people bring professional abilities, practical experience, as well as a commitment to and concern for the people they help.

    Our projects are manned by national staff with minimal international presence. On average, for every expatriate posted to a specific project there are seven local workers. They provide everything from technical and administrative assistance to nursing and medical skills.

  • What are the criteria to work for MSF?

    Detailed information about the selection criteria and role descriptions can be found on our website here.

    We can only accept applications from people who meet our strict requirements and applications must be made online.

Find out more frequently answered questions about working in the filed