How to volunteer


Mercy Ships is a hospital ship charity serving the most vulnerable in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our ships’ crews are made up of huge-hearted volunteers in medical, maritime and general roles. 

Find the right fit for youmaritime, medical and general volunteer roles with Mercy Ships


Some people volunteer with Mercy Ships because they want to invest their skills and experience, their time and talents providing essential surgery for people who would otherwise have no chance of accessing the healthcare they need. For others, it’s important that Mercy Ships follows the example Jesus. They want to put feet to their faith; bringing hope and healing to the world’s most vulnerable, and helping build the medical capacity of developing nations.

Together we are using our passion and abilities to make a life-transforming difference for the world’s under-serve poor – regardless of their ethnicity, religion or gender.

Our crew come from over 60 nations and all walks of life. Our diversity is one of our most engaging attributes, and all who serve at Mercy Ships onboard and in locations worldwide are expected to respect Mercy Ships Core Values in their service.

Shorter-term volunteers (those on board for less than 1 year) come to work, learn, and grow alongside the long-term volunteers, the core of life on a Mercy Ship.


Bear in mind that when you have completed the application process a physical evaluation and immunisations are required for all crew – who must be aged between 18 and 70 years old at the time of service.

Our volunteer crew fundraise or self-fund to cover crew fees, insurance and flights to and from the ship. Mercy Ships can help you to develop your budget and fundraising support. Successful New Zealand applicants can also receive sponsored funding to cover quarantine costs upon returning to NZ (with a two-month minimum service duration).

Why not take a look at all the volunteer job opportunities onboard for your training and availability, and check out the possibilities for yourself?

To help you along the way to volunteering, Mercy Ships hosts MyMercy, an interactive site for prospective or in-process volunteers including FAQ, forums and useful advice for new crew. You can get an idea of what life is like onboard, and connect with others who are volunteering. You can also drop us a line with any specific questions, we’d love to hear from you.

If you want to connect with someone about volunteering, Sharon Walls, who has served onboard for a number of years, is the Mercy Ships NZ volunteer coordinator. Please contact her for more information – she would love to hear from you and to answer even the curliest of questions.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]