In each field service Mercy Ships hires local day crew to work on the Africa Mercy and in every other Mercy Ships operational site to help our mission of bringing hope and healing to the forgotten poor. Our programs could not be delivered without the support of our day crew. While there is a vast number of positions, a few examples include: Translators, Engineering Assistants, Security, Deck Hands, Dining Room Staff, etc. Some of the most valuable friendships our volunteer crew members form are with the day crew they have worked with, and it is deeply encouraging to observe the ways these individuals continue to work together to support the vulnerable population even after the field service has ended.
Following the recent departure of Mercy Ships from Senegal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the day crew have taken collective action by forming an association to join the battle against the virus in their nation. This association, the “Mouvement d’Anciens Volontaires de Mercy Ships (MAVMS)” (Movement of Mercy Ships Former Volunteers) has initiated and launched the Together Fight COVID-19 campaign. This COVID-19 project is the unique mission so far of the MAVMS and coordinated by one of the HOPE Centre day crew.
The MAVMS Coordinator expressed gratitude for the opportunity they have been given to serve with Mercy Ships, which has taught them how to love and serve others. The plan is to register the association in Senegal and establish a local bank account for support.
Their first action on the field was in “Marché de Tilene and the aisle from Abass Ndao hospital”, Friday April 17th where they distributed hand sanitizers, face masks and food to the poor. So far, activities are being held with the money raised within the group (individual contributions of each day crew member).
They hope that the Senegal Ministry of Health and Social Action will reply positively to the association and offer to use them in this fight against COVID-19.
We at Mercy Ships Canada are so inspired by this locally led initiative and the incredible demonstration of small acts that are making a big difference in Senegal.