Motherhood overcomes the odds

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Yaya’s nine-year-old daughter, Moonira, can’t remember seeing her mother without the massive tumour that had stretched across her face for eight years. Yaya, now 27 years old, initially noticed something starting to grow on her jaw. The once-small tumour continued to grow aggressively until Yaya had difficulty eating … Read More

Salamatou & Mariama- the overcomers

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High up Mt Manengouba in Cameroon, through rocky terrain and lush foliage, lies the beautiful village of Bororos. The journey to Bororos consists of a steep, uphill horse ride surrounded by craggy rocks with only wildlife for company. But two little girls, sisters Salamatou and Mariama, had never … Read More

An orphan’s hope

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Victoria never lost hope. Not after her parents died when she was a girl, not after she was forced to start begging in the streets, and not even when she began developing a massive facial tumour when she was only 18 years old. Now, the resilient 23-year-old sat … Read More

Intrepid Kiwi’s journey

A hospital ship in West Africa is a world away from the family farm at Rua Roa under the Ruahine Rangers. A lot of water has passed under the bridge, taking Helen Trainor on the journey of a lifetime – eventually to volunteer her surgical skills aboard the … Read More

Love in any language

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These days, Pirongia-born nurse Melanie Allen begins each shift with a two-minute walk to work – down several flights of stairs and into the hospital deck of the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, Africa Mercy. In February Melanie joined the volunteer crew of the 16,000 tonne Mercy Ships … Read More

A reason to smile

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Adorned with beads and colourful fabrics, Fadimatou enjoyed dressing up and ‘acting pretty’ like other girls. But, any glimpse of her smile was quickly wiped away by memories of teasing and ridicule—a reminder of the lies she’d been told too many times, that she isn’t pretty and shouldn’t smile. … Read More

Rail ferry to hospital ship – building ships of mercy

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We usually understand a ship to be a means of transporting people or cargo, a luxury cruise liner or a military vessel. Rarely do we associate a ship with a hospital. In this article, the authors explore the creation and operation of a unique ship, the Africa mercy (formerly … Read More

Seven long years

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She had been excited for a while. Mairamou and her husband eagerly anticipated the birth of their first child. But after a long, painful labour, she lost the baby. The tragedy was intensified because the prolonged labour caused physical damage that left Mairamou with a condition known as … Read More

A brighter future

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No one is prouder of this ray of sunshine than her father, Emmanuel. Cecilia brims with delightful energy, and Emmanuel is always one step behind her, ready to help her in the right direction. But, until recently, Cecilia needed more help than most little girls. “She smiles all of … Read More

What is Mercy Ships?

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Watch the video here: Each year around 40 Kiwis volunteer aboard the Mercy Ship, helping to deliver free essential surgery to people living in abject poverty. These New Zealanders are serving in medical, maritime and operational roles deliver both hope and healing to Africa’s forgotten poor.  Watch the … Read More

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