Transformed lives: our patients

One billion people. That’s the estimated number of individuals who lack access to even basic health care in this world of ours. They suffer from preventable diseases, untreated illnesses, and neglected injuries. Even a simple toothache can turn into a life-threatening crisis. But with the unwavering support and prayers of friends like you, Mercy Ships is determined to bring them hope and healing.

Why Africa?

Basic healthcare is simply out of reach of nearly half the population in sub-Saharan Africa. With only two doctors per 10,000 people, the lack of access to safe and afffordable surgery when it’s needed causes more deaths in the region that HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB combined. 

Behind every statistic is a story, a life – a person waiting for hope and healing.

The challenge is immense, but we are making a difference each day by providing surgical and healthcare solutions. We work hand in hand with local partners, mentoring and training people in their healthcare arena, making a sustainable investment into improving healthcare systems for the future.

Mercy Ships exists as a compassionate response to a world in need, irrespective of ethnicity,  religion or gender. The core values of Mercy Ships reflect a belief that every individual is made in the image of God, and worthy of a helping hand to alleviate their suffering and hope for a healthier future.  

Stories of transformation: our heroic patients

Whole again after 27 years

After being severely burned as a child, Coumba adjusted to difficult life with a hand immobilised by scars. But hope for a different future had arrived.

The gifts within – Hamadou finds hope

Hamadou learned to cope with the physical limitations of his cleft lip, which impacted his ability to swallow and eat, Even his family were fearful of him.

Daouda’s long journey

Douda’s loving dad had tried every possible avenue to seek treatment for his son”s tumour – to no avail. Yet hope drove them to try once more.

Reclaiming dignity: Astou’s story

A double burden was lifted from Astou,- weight she’s been carrying for half her life.

Mairamou’s story

Mairamou should have been excited about her future … a sparkling, joy-filled future. She and her husband had eagerly anticipated the birth of their first child.

Story of Aliou

A fire left 3-year old Aliou with third-degree burns on his right arm. With limited access to proper medical care, his arm contracted.

I want to volunteer!

Volunteer testimonies

Our volunteers are selfless servants. They deliver the highest quality care to individuals who otherwise would have little access to medical services. And they pay their own way, so every franc donated to Mercy Ships can go directly to helping the world’s forgotten poor.

Alexandra Gordon

Alexandra Gordon – volunteer theatre nurse A different kind of theatre nursing Signing up to volunteer on the world’s largest civilian hospital ship is a remarkable step of generosity.  Alexandra explains, “I’ve dreamed about volunteering as a nurse for as long as I can remember! I can’t quite believe I am lucky enough to be […]

Charlotte Gordon

Charlotte’s role as a long-term preoperative nurse on the Global Mercy is pivotal. This stability means many other nurses can volunteer for short periods, working alongside her in the team.

Dr Andrew Clark – chaplain

Inspired to serve our hospital ship volunteers, International Chaplain Dr Andrew Clark shares uniqueness of the hospital ship community

Aly & Arnie Hall

Aly & Arnie Hall 30 years after she first volunteered on board as a nurse in Sierra Leone, Aly returns to Mercy Ships with her husband, Arnie. A different kind of sabbatical The Halls are usually pastoring at Manukau Baptist, but soon they will be full-time volunteers with Mercy Ships. For 8 weeks from August […]

Kuo Family

Kuo Family Fred and Maria, Lily, Connor and Asher are crew on board the world’s largest civilian hospital ship.  Volunteering with Mercy Ships The Kuo family are full-time Mercy Ships volunteers for 2 years, from June 2023, as Maria serves as a Clinical Ward Supervisor. The family are living on board the Global Mercy. Fred […]

Ella Hawthorne

Ella Hawthorne, Ophthalmic Team Manager Ella’s role is vital to the hospital ship work. She not only set up the eye clinic on the new hospital ship Global Mercy, she now leads the clinical eye team on board. Why I volunteer with Mercy Ships. Every day in the Mercy Ships Eye Clinic looks a little […]