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Carmen Hernandez's son in Spain: "Mom, where are you calling from? Your voice is trembling, are you sure everything is alright?"
Carmen Hernandez calling from the port of Pisco in Peru: "Don't worry, please keep talking, it's so good to hear your voice. We're lacking everything here but we're alive. When you come back, you won't recognise Pisco. I'm calling from a satellite phone, a free call offered by an international NGO. Don't worry son, stay where you are."
This extract from a satellite call made last week using equipment provided by communications charity Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) illustrates what motivates the charity's 13-strong team of mainly French IT and telecoms engineers to rush halfway around the world at a few hours' notice to confront the results of disasters, both natural and man-made.
The organisation, which was set up in 1998 by former France Telecom employee Jean-Francois Cazenove, may not be involved in direct rescue work or providing healthcare like its sister organisation, Médicins Sans Frontières, but the services it provides enables other agencies to do their jobs more efficiently. Where natural disasters are concerned, more time means more lives saved.