“Little Birds”: MSF returns to Ottawa’s Winterlude Festival
Come meet Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) staff at our “Little Birds” ice sculpture during Winterlude and write a personal message in solidarity with the over 100 million people, including children who have been forcibly displaced.
“Did you know that when baby birds are born, their parents hide them under their wings so that rain doesn’t fall on them. They protect them.” – Valeria, El Salvador.
Mark your calendars: Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is returning to Ottawa’s iconic Winterlude Festival to bring attention to the experiences of children affected by armed conflict and displacement around the world.
From Feb. 2 to 19, MSF invites you to visit our over three-metre tall ice sculpture located at the corner of Metcalfe and Sparks streets.
Titled “Little Birds,” the ice sculpture depicts a dove carrying a child. It symbolically conveys the journey of children who are among the over 100 million people on the move around the world today, fleeing conflict, persecution, disasters and the impacts of climate change.
MSF invites you to join us at Winterlude 2024 to show your solidarity with children who are forcibly displaced by writing a personal message of support on a ribbon encircling our “Little Birds” sculpture, then snap a photo, tag @msfcanada on Instagram and share.
We also invite you to speak directly with MSF health workers and staff onsite from the Ottawa area each weekend of the three-week festival. Learn firsthand how we respond to the healthcare needs of people who are displaced worldwide.
About the sculpture
Our MSF sculpture is inspired by the animated short film “Little Birds,” which centres the voices and drawings of seven children who live in a shelter in northern Mexico where MSF teams provide mental health support. Despite immense hardships, their dreams survive and in their own words the children recount their fears, the wounds of being uprooted, the risks they face on their journey and the dreams that push and lift their spirits.
MSF teams working along migration routes around the world report that during mental health consultations, children share feelings of sadness, nostalgia for their old life, fear, worry and constant stress. These feelings come from both the traumas survived along the migration route and the deplorable conditions they’re forced to live in such as overcrowded shelters, makeshift camps or on the street.
For the full schedule and to see times when MSF staff will be present at the ice sculpture, please visit the event website.