Alfred Salter (1873-1945) was a medical practitioner, pacifist, teetotaler and politician who worked tirelessly for poor and socially deprived people in Bermondsey, London. His wife Ada was an prominent Bermondsey politician and activist.
Ann Preston (1813-1872) was a pioneering American woman doctor and founder of Pennsylvania’s Women’s Hospital. She was a tireless and effective campaigner for the rights of women to become doctors.
Bronwen Gray is Resident Quaker at The Retreat, in York, England. The Retreat is a Quaker foundation, working on mental health. She describes her role.
Fidele lived with HIV himself from 2002 until his death in 2012. He founded, and led, INACOS, the Friends programme in Rwanda. It works to help everyone affected by HIV and AIDS. In 2008 he helped establish a global advocacy committee, on behalf of Friends worldwide.
Glebe House: Friends Therapeutic Community Trust
Glebe House in Cambridgeshire does internationally renowned specialist work with teenage males with sexual issues, often victims and/or offenders. Through a two to three year resident programme, many go on to become active and productive members of society. It was founded by East Anglian Quakers in the 1960s, and the trustees are Quakers to this day.
Many individual Quakers are health professionals. Friends as a group have established hospitals and clinics, notably in Kenya. There are several programmes concerned with HIV/AIDS, notably in Rwanda, but also elsewhere. Supporting people with drug addictions is another common thread. Quakers have long been aware of the importance of living conditions to health: William Penn and Quaker entrepreneurs were able to create healthy environments for others.
INACOS – combating HIV/AIDS in Rwanda
INACOS (Initiative des Amis Combattant la SIDA) is the Friends Church HIV and AIDS programme in Rwanda. It was founded in 2002 by Quakers Fidele Nsengiyumva and his wife Antoinette Runiga, both HIV positive themselves.
Interaction with Tsarist Russia
(1698 - 1919) Several Quakers met Russian Tsars and their diplomats, and discussed many topics. There were significant impacts on Russian education, agriculture and health. Towards the end of the period Friends’ focus was on relief - for victims of wars, for communities suffering famine, and for minorities suffering because of their beliefs.
John Fothergill (1712-1780) was a Quaker scientist who made significant advances, both as a medical doctor and as an amateur botanist. He made accurate observations and advanced the treatment of diseases include scarlet fever, epilepsy, tuberculosis, influenza and migraine. In his extensive hothouses he cultivated over three thousand rare plants and has species of lily and geranium named after him.
Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, (1952- ) is perhaps the only Quaker and pacifist to have found themselves second in command of their country’s defence forces. She is a longstanding member of the ANC, and served as an MP and later in the Ministries of Defence and Health. She currently campaigns against the sex-trafficking of women.
Quaker Peace Network - Sierra Leone, West Africa (QPN-WA)
QPN-WA was founded in 2009, in post-conflict Sierra Leone, to help ex-combatants reintegrate into their community. Employment opportunities were created and community facilities improved. In 2014 the Ebola epidemic struck, and the small Quaker community undertook health education and founded an orphanage for Ebola orphans.
Quakers in China
Friends first went to China to trade in the 1700s. From the 1880s Quaker missionaries were involved in schools, hospitals and a university. During the war with Japan, Friends undertook significant relief work. Few Chinese ever became Quakers, but their service was valued. Foreigners all left in 1951, and links today are mainly through visits and exchanges.
Quakers in Madagascar
Quaker missionaries, mostly from Britain, served in Madagascar for a hundred years. They founded, and worked in, schools and hospitals, during a period of great change for the country. Malagasy Friends today are part of a wider Protestant church, and Quakers from elsewhere support their work financially and as volunteers.
The FAU China Convoy (1941 – 46)
One of the best-known arms of the FAU during WWII was the China Convoy. From 1941 it helped to bring supplies to landlocked ‘Free China’ and undertook considerable medical and reconstruction work, in very challenging conditions.
The Retreat, York, England
The Retreat was founded in 1792 by William Tuke, a Yorkshire Quaker, and opened in 1796. It remains to this day a Quaker organisation. It was the first establishment in England where mental illness was regarded as something from which a person could recover, and patients were treated with sympathy, respect and dignity. its work continues to this day.
Therapeutic Communities in Britain
The central idea of therapeutic communities is that by living together in organised and caring environments, troubled individuals can find productive ways forward. Quakers have been instrumental in establishing and supporting several such communities.
William Tuke was born in York on 24 March 1732, into a leading Quaker family. He entered the family tea and coffee merchant business at an early age. He was able to devote much time to the pursuit of philanthropy. He is best remembered for founding The Retreat, in York, where he introduced humane and enlightened modes of treatment for the mentally ill.