Happy National Volunteer Week!

National Volunteer Week

Volunteers light up the decks of the Africa Mercy with their smiles and big hearts each and every day!

It takes a lot of courage to sign up for any amount of time with Mercy Ships. Why? Individuals are raising their own funds to fly across the world, volunteer overseas in a ship with people they have not met, be thrown into often times fast paced jobs where they’ve got to be in their toes, all while being introduced to a completely new culture with language barriers.

Some may find this daunting, but there is little apprehension from most volunteers. While slightly nervous, they are mostly excited and know it’s something they want to do and feel they are supposed to do. Thinking of the people they are going to help usually trumps most fears.

Mercy Ships volunteers are helping individuals become active members of their communities again, allowing them to work, to go to school, to regain respect, to fill them with hope and most importantly live a happier and healthier life.

Mercy Ships plants roots in each country visited through the local people who receive free surgery, and the health care professionals who are trained and continue to share what they have learned with others after the Africa Mercy departs.

Volunteers keep Mercy Ships afloat, we would not be able to do what we do and help so many people without the selfless acts of each and every person who commits their time and skills to the Mercy Ships cause.

THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS across Canada and internationally for all that you do!

In the words of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

“Volunteers look for opportunities to contribute their time, passion, and skill to make a positive difference in the lives of others. They believe—and know—that better is always possible.

volunteer Florence Bangura

The Woman Who Forged Her Way Through Walls: Florence Bangura’s Story

Florence’s journey from oldest to newest Mercy Ship came full circle when she met the Global Mercy™ in 2023, the same year that the purpose-built hospital ship began welcoming its patients on board. Today, you can find Florence, now 49 years old, down in the engine room as a hotel engineering assistant.

Dr Austin Demby

Transforming Sierra Leone’s Healthcare: A Vision for Safe and Affordable Surgery

As experts from the surgical and healthcare world gather for the 64th Annual Conference and Scientific Meeting of the West African College of Surgeons in Sierra Leone this week, a profound dedication to advancing surgical knowledge and practice in the region is palpable. At the forefront of discussions lies the conference’s pivotal theme: access to safe and affordable surgical and anesthetic care in West Africa. This theme highlights the pressing need to address disparities in healthcare capabilities and capacities across the region, especially the critical importance of equitable access to quality surgical interventions.

Mission Madagascar

The Africa Mercy Arrives in Madagascar to Bring Hope and Healing Anew

Freshly refitted hospital ship, the upgraded Africa Mercy® has arrived at the island nation to build on the charity’s longstanding collaboration and will provide specialized surgeries in various fields, including maxillofacial and ear nose and throat, general, pediatric specialized general, pediatric orthopedic, cataract surgery, and reconstructive plastics. 

Patient Vanya

Reuniting with Vanya, Years After Surgery

In 2015, in an operating room on board the Africa Mercy while docked in Madagascar, the course of Vanya’s life changed.
Years have now passed since Vanya’s journey toward healing. In the time since, her improved ability to walk allowed her to return to school, where she loved studying environmental science and learning about the world around her.

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