Kathy and Sinclair Carter from Whangamata initially volunteered with Mercy Ships for three months. Semi-retired, they felt this was a perfect opportunity to do something more with their skills: Sinclair has a maritime engineering background and Kathy has worked in healthcare. When COVID-19 prevented overseas travel and new volunteers could not get to the Africa Mercy, the couple willingly extended their stay onboard – not once, not twice, but THREE times, to cover essential technical crew needs as COVID-19 made the passage of incoming volunteers very difficult.
Sinclair Carter, second engineer onboard the Africa Mercy, has worked on ships for most of his life, like his father and grandfather before him. He and his wife Kathy joined the ship in Dakar and sailed the ship to Tenerife when the global situation meant the field service was paused.
The Carters are part of the 130-strong crew preparing the ship for our return to field service in West Africa in 2021. “The community onboard is caring,” reflects Sinclair, “Very supportive of one another—it’s like a big extended family and we have made so many amazing memories here.”
Deck and engineering administrator Kathy Carter has worked as a nurse and more recently in the corporate environment in healthcare. When she and Sinclair joined the Africa Mercy in Senegal, they both wanted to use their skills to help those less fortunate. “The experience has been both humbling (watching the bravery and dignity of the patients) as well as life-changing, as we live within this amazing community,”she shares.
Thank you for your service Kathy and Sinclair—we would not be able to do what we do, without people like you!
There are a range of volunteer opportunities available in 2021 when Mercy Ships returns to Senegal. Why not find YOUR place onboard?