Mercy Ships is a "faith-based" charitable organisation that, for the last 35 years, has followed the 2,000-year-old model of Jesus to bring "hope and healing" to the forgotten poor. We serve people in need without regard to their beliefs, their nationality or their means. As a ship-based international health care organisation, Mercy Ships provides surgical interventions, education and capacity building, and other healthcare services through its hospital ship and related healthcare and capacity building programs and partnerships. The Africa Mercy typically spends up to 10 months in a port in order to schedule and complete the medical, dental and surgical needs of people identified prior to arrival.
We are governed by an independent, international board of directors that provides oversight and accountability for the leadership and management team. Financial, Organisational Matters and Medical Review committees have directors with a breadth of experience in maritime, medical, financial, organisational and resource development experiences.
The crew of over 400 serving on the Africa Mercy are from over 30 countries. Each crew member pays for their own travel and pays crew fees to help defray a portion of operating costs. There is a strong sense of community on the ship as people recognise that they are providing the highest quality medical care to those who have no access to healthcare nor the resources to pay for services.
Crew serve on the ship from as little as 2 weeks up to a number of years. Almost half of the crew has been serving on the ship a year or more. Over the last three decades over 30,000 volunteers have served on a ship.
With offices in 16 countries, teams recruit staff and volunteers across medical, maritime and operational disciplines to serve "on the front lines' as well as land-based support. The capital cost to build and maintain the ship is supported by charitable donations of cash as well as gifts-in-kind.