Before I head to Mercy Ships tomorrow, I wanted to answer all of your questions for those of you who want to learn more about my trip or get involved! More questions? Comment below. Xo, Dana
What exactly is Mercy Ships? Is it an actual ship?
Mercy Ships is the world’s largest non-governmental hospital ship. The organization travels the coast of Africa providing safe surgical care and training local medical professionals.
What countries does Mercy Ships visit?
Mercy Ships visits countries in West Africa, they are currently docked in the port of Cotonou in the Republic of Benin, which borders Nigeria.
Donations made to Mercy Ships cover the costs of surgical care for patients, as well as general operating costs for the ship. All of their volunteer staff pay their own way to travel to the ship and stay on board!
How long do your volunteers stay on the ship?
Volunteers serve onboard from two weeks to one year. A Mercy Ships “field service” is 10 months, which means that the ship stays in one country for the entire time.
If you want to volunteer but you can't afford to cover your ship fees, what do you recommend?
All mercy ships volunteers are responsible for raising their own support, and many reach out to family and friends to “partner” with them and contribute financially in order to serve. Others get more creative and sell things or save money so they can volunteer.
Mercy Ships staff is a great resource for fundraising ideas. Do not let finances hinder you from applying.
What percentage of your volunteers/staff are American?
Mercy Ships volunteers come from all over the world, but Americans
are well-represented. In fact, of the volunteers currently on board that Dana will meet, more than 1/3 of them (36.5%) are American!
How many people has the charity helped? Or how many do you help per month/per year?
Since 1978 Mercy Ships has delivered free services valued at more than $1 billion - directly impacting more than 2.5 million children and families.
I want to visit Mercy Ships like Dana. Where do I go to sign up?
You can sign up at www.mercyships.org/how-to-apply for more information. You can follow Mercy Ships on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @MercyShips