Carine Rolland, caregiver without borders



Appointment is made opposite the port of Pornic, where Carine Rolland has just renovated a house after leaving Nantes and its banks of the Loire. ” When we grew up in Brittany, it was difficult not to live near water ”, entrust this “Daughter of the sea” 50 years old, who spent his childhood in Morbihan, between a veterinarian father and a teaching mother.

“The migrant doctor”

Having become president of the Médecins du Monde association in June 2021, she has just closed her general practice in Nantes to devote herself fully to her new mandate. “I don’t know how to do anything halfway”, confides the one who is nicknamed in Nantes “the doctor of migrants”, because of her long-standing commitment to exiles.

In her practice, opened ten years earlier, she followed a neighborhood clientele and vulnerable patients referred by associations and groups of citizens committed to her side. “In one day, I went around the world”, she says. “I could receive a Nigerian woman, an Eritrean, then an elderly person from the area… The migrants were not the only ones in psychological or social suffering. “

“Attracted by elsewhere”

Believing that medicine must take into account the whole person – the famous “care” dear to the Anglo-Saxons – she has always been concerned about the living conditions of her patients or their past traumas. Passionate about “The human”, Carine Rolland turned to studies in general medicine in Rennes (Ille-et-Vilaine).

→ MAINTENANCE. Sarah Khenati: “To be humanitarian is to be prepared not to know”

Having become an intern in several hospitals in the Paris region (Montfermeil, Cochin, Nanterre, etc.), she took advantage of her externship to go on mission to dispensaries in West Africa, Guinea or Mali. “I have always been attracted to elsewhere”, explains this great traveler, who has already crisscrossed Africa, Asia or South America.

Very close to her three children, now students in the four corners of France, she derives her strength of character from a not so simple childhood, marked by the death of her father when she was 12 years old. “I learned quite quickly to rely only on myself and to give myself the means to achieve my ends. “ This is undoubtedly also what founds his empathy and his commitment to those most abused by life.

Heal, testify, plead

Joining Médecins du Monde as a volunteer in 2009 before joining its board of directors, then becoming its general secretary last year, she fully adheres to the vocation of this association founded in 1980 to provide care, witness and advocate. “Our ethics are to treat without judgment, in France and abroad”, she specifies. “We are not emergency physicians who disembark with large means before leaving. We are working for the long haul. “

This NGO employs 1,500 national employees in the 29 countries where it operates and 388 employees in France, supported by 1,500 volunteers. The objectives of his presidency? Raising the values ​​of the association in a complex national and global context. “Our world is changing and climatic and societal upheavals will accelerate”, she predicts, convinced that the issues related to health, the environment and migration are strongly intertwined. There is no question, however, of giving in to pessimism. “On the contrary, I believe in the possibility of doing otherwise”, she says. “We can all choose to help each other and stop being paralyzed by our fears. “

“Our values ​​are not carried”

A few months before the presidential election, this grassroots activist is very hard on the political class. “Our values ​​are not carried”, she laments. “On migration, in thirty years, no politician has had the courage of Angela Merkel in 2015. We must stop believing that Europe is invaded by migrants. “ And take the example of Afghan refugees, mostly hosted by neighboring countries (Pakistan, Iran, etc.). She also believes in the empowerment of women in the world of tomorrow.

“All over the planet, they are the first victims of the upheavals underway. But they think, they organize themselves and can invent another way of living together. “ The challenges are immense, the task promises to be difficult. “When I am stressed, nothing does me more good than a swim in the sea”, she smiles, hearing the clicking of the shrouds of the boats. “In a difficult world, you have to learn to profit beautiful things. “

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Her inspiration: “Writers who are not afraid to look at reality”

A great reader, Carine Rolland appreciates authors who “Are not afraid to look at the real”, the only way, according to her, to ” change the world “. And to quote Alain Damasio, science fiction writer and author of political dystopias or Corinne Morel Darleux, who, in the book Sinking in beauty rather than floating without grace, advocates disobedience to get out of “Collapse” of our consumer societies. She also appreciates the uncompromising thought of feminist writers like Rokhaya Diallo or Virginie Despentes. “I’m not afraid of the word ‘radical’, which means rooted in its roots”, she slips.

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