Everyone aboard the hospital ship Africa Mercy works as a volunteer—from the captain to the motormen, the surgeons to the pursers. The more than 400 volunteers come from over 40 nations.
The new Facebook page gives full details, including a video, photos and crew testimonials. For example, ship security officer Gerrit van den Noort from the Netherlands tells about his work, adding: 'The big picture of Mercy Ships is beautiful and my wife and I knew that we wanted to put what we believed into practice and start living it. What attracts me most in this organization is that you are highly dependent on others as you work in a community which helps you grow as a person.'
Africa Mercy moves to different locations for months-long stints at the invitation of local governments. The ship is currently on a 10-month assignment in Douala, Cameroon, where children and adults are being transformed thanks to surgical procedures that include correcting maxillofacial deformities, reconstructive plastic surgery, corrections to vision impairments and obstetric fistula, orthopedic surgery and dental treatments.
Mercy Ships is Cruise Lines International Association's charity of choice and Cruise Shipping Miami's nonprofit partner, while other cruise industry entities also support the mission. The Costa Group, for example, helps in a variety of ways including a commitment to continuously manning at least one engineering position on board.
But more deck, engine and technical crew are needed as Mercy Ships seeks to expand its work to help even more people. The charity hopes to double its volunteer crew numbers.
For more information related to working in the deck, engine and technical departments on board, see also 'First Costa Group volunteer signs on with Africa Mercy' and 'Besides its medical mission, Mercy Ships fosters seafarer training.'