The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday September 28th


UNC student, Rotary Peace Fellow leads first of Duke-UNC Peace Film Series

There's more to UNC graduate student Jean Lambert Chalachala than what meets the eye. As a Rotary Peace Fellow, Chalachala has lived in the Congolese war zone. 

That life is mirrored in "Living In Emergency," a film that follows four volunteer doctors as they struggle to provide emergency medical care under extreme conditions in the war-zones of Liberia and the Congo, and includes access to field operations of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

Chalachala is showing this life to UNC during the first part of the Peace Film Series, sponsored by the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center.

The screening will be held tonight at 5:30 p.m. in Tate-Turner-Kuralt Auditorium located inside the UNC School of Social Work. After the film, a discussion session will be held with Chalachala  and UNC anthropology professor Peter Redfield.

Doctors Without Borders is an international humanitarian-aid non-governmental organization that provides medically trained individuals, medications, and access to free health care in the time of crisis. According to Chalachala, it's one of the first responders to intervene during a medical crisis, even before the government, and gives a way to face public health problems in the struggle of developing and war-torn nations.

Chalachala worked with Doctors Without Borders for two years as a medical doctor in the Congo and faced medical challenges with no means. 

"You will see how people suffer, die because of missing just a few dollars," he said. "The price you pay for a cup of tea can save a life. It was a stressful experience even for me and you will see in the film a rise of emotions,” he said.

Chalachala said "Living in Emergency" accurately portrays the reality of medical doctors and the emergency of everyday life and will possibly change your life like it changed his.

“After this experience, I became a different doctor — my eyes see different. How real life is in developing war or fragile states, not what they say in books or movies.”

"Living in Emergency" allows for the opportunity to consider humanitarianism in the context of war and conflict and will provide a sense of humbleness.

“The best lesson to learn from this experience is humility,” he said.


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