For those who don't know me, hello! My name is Avicenna! No it's not my real name, although I wish it was. It's far cooler! You may know me from my charming facebook page or my random google hangouts where you were interrupted by the barking of my dog or indeed the sudden arrival of a patient.
I am more infamous for writing at Freethought Blogs (www.http://freethoughtblogs.com/amilliongods/). Yep, I am one of those scary atheist bloggers you hear so much about. Basically? I write for one of the large atheist websites out there in addition to working as a doctor. I work in rural India providing healthcare as part of a charity. I was intending to go to Nepal to walk but owing to work constraints I have had to pull out. I am still donating the money I can fundraise to ASTI. I did however get an invite to see their clinic, I may take up working at their clinic on a later date.
It is often said that we atheists rarely do any charity. We certainly are not as organised as other groups of people and don't go down to places as open atheists, but we do charity often by fundraising and the like. And this is a fundraiser.
This for me is giving something to a charity I have had a lot of respect for. Vitriolage and burn attacks are a cruel cruel thing. No one ever deserves it and there are no words to describe the difficulties faced by those who are attacked this way. What we can do to help them and give them some reason to smile. I have treated a couple of cases and they are among the most horrific of injuries I have seen.
ASTI are kind enough to understand that I have a professional interest in working with them too and have also offered to take me to see their work in Nepal. While I don't think I have the skills to help, it would help me learn a lot and maybe I can come back with them one day and give something back. If my skills are up to their scratch then I would be honoured to work at the clinic. I understand the difficulty of working in a place where you do not speak the language and would love the challenge of doing so.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
[Update - A lot has changed since I first started fundraising. I have gained more skills and am now a fully qualified doctor. In addition I can no longer go on their hike due to work. I do however wish to go to their clinic some day and will honour my fundraiser amount.]