world community service report
from Ron Rocke and Steve Shepelwich
Mercy Ships: Opening Health Opportunities for All
A Rotary project becomes a passion to support healthcare in Africa
Like many things I have discovered in life, one phone call, opening one door, asking one question, or reading one email can lead you somewhere you never thought you’d be. That is how I learned about a project that has since become a passion for me. That project is Mercy Ships.
Founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens, Mercy Ships seeks to transform individuals, communities, and nations by using hospital ships to deliver free world-class healthcare services to people in need. These services include training and educating local healthcare providers and doctors and nurses as well as providing a wide range of surgeries and follow-up care for sustainable development.
Mercy Ships has worked in more than 55 developing countries, providing services valued at more than $1.65 billion, and treating more than 2.8 million people with just one ship. The ship is crewed by volunteers from over 50 nations, averaging 1,300 volunteers each year. Professionals ranging from surgeons, dentists, and nurses to cooks, engineers, teachers and cleaning crews donate their time and skills.