The Rotterdam-based Mercy Ships is an international medical aid organization that provides underprivileged people in the poorest developing countries with free medical care. Their newest hospital ship, the Global Mercy, will dock in the port of Rotterdam on Saturday 26 February.
The Global Mercy is the largest civilian hospital ship in the world. When it arrives it will make a 360° turn and moor at the Cruise Terminal Rotterdam. After docking, the flag ceremony with Captain Taylor Perez of the Global Mercy follows. Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has a welcome word next.
The Global Mercy then moves to another quay near the Erasmus Bridge. It moors there for the rest of the period until March 4th. Relations from all over the world and locals have the opportunity to admire the ship. The tours lead them outside and inside.
”What a blessing that we can welcome our beautiful ship the Global Mercy in our port city Rotterdam,” says Martijn Provily, director of Mercy Ships Holland. ”It is a unique opportunity for us to let as many Dutch people as possible see our mission up close. We are preparing to welcome thousands of people on and around the ship.”
The hospital vessel will be open for tours and events for two weeks before the ship heads towards Africa with volunteers on board to fulfill the mission of making safe surgery accessible in Africa.
Volunteers staff the Mercy Ships
The international medical aid organization has been providing underprivileged people – regardless of age, race, gender, or religion – in the poorest developing countries with free medical care and development projects since 1978. Mercy Ships does this with the help of the hospital ships the Africa Mercy currently in Senegal and the new Global Mercy.
The ships are staffed by volunteers from over 60 countries, with an average of over 1200 volunteers per year. Professionals such as surgeons, dentists, nurses, healthcare trainers are selflessly committed to operations. To correct a large number of ailments in children and adults. Dental care is provided onshore, combined with training and education in healthcare and agriculture. This approach ensures that the impact continues long after the Africa Mercy has sailed away.
Besides the medics, teachers, cooks, sailors, engineers and agronomists also work onboard, without receiving a payment. But for the great goal: to provide medical care to the poorest.