Emotions ran high as the Africa Mercy arrived into the port of Cotonou this week, beginning 10 months of healthcare service to the nation of Benin.
Mercy Ships crew member Emmanuel Essah, a native of Benin and a volunteer Biomedical Technician on the Africa Mercy, proudly handed his nation’s flag to First Lady Madame Claudine Gbenagnon Talon during the welcome ceremony.
Addressing the crowd of government officials, Mercy Ships volunteers, and NGOs, the first lady expresses her passion for Benin’s poor: “Behind all statistics, there is a story, a life, a person who needs a new hope, a treatment or a cure,” she says. First Lady Talon has worked tirelessly to help Mercy Ships come to Benin, believing that the ship is a chance to bring the hope she speaks of to thousands of her people. We are deeply grateful for her partnership, and echo the first lady in her wishes that “This enriching collaboration of Benin with Mercy Ships will continue to grow year after year.”
This is the fifth time Mercy Ships has served people in need in this beautiful West African nation.