What It’s Like
As a Mercy Ships crewmember, you will change lives.
You may help transform the life of a malnourished baby born with a cleft palate, an individual struggling with a disfiguring tumor, or a crippled child. You may help train farmers how to increase crop and food production. Or you may be onboard to support those doing this important work.
These aren’t the only lives that will be changed. Count on it: You also will be transformed. You will work hard, long hours. You will be pushed to your limits. Your heart will break with compassion for those you are serving. But you will find tremendous fulfillment working closely with colleagues from around the world to make a difference by showing mercy to the world’s forgotten poor.
This will be the toughest job you will ever love.
“Every time I go to Africa, I am shaken to my core,” said Stephen Lewis, a Mercy Ships volunteer
The Africa Mercy is like a small city, and our crew of more than 400 volunteers keeps it running. We need medical and dental professionals, but we also need volunteers in areas ranging from cooks and teachers to receptionists, mechanics, engineers and information technology specialists.
Short-term crewmembers volunteer from two weeks to two years depending on the position. They typically fill service roles or very specialized medical or technical positions. Long-term crewmembers make an initial commitment of two years and typically fill positions that require more continuity and training.
Volunteers work hard, but they also play well. There is always something happening onboard. Crewmembers enjoy weekly soccer games, videos, late-night board games, excursions to shop and explore, and many more activities.
We are grateful for the volunteers who generously donate their time and costs. The all-volunteer crew is required to provide or raise their own support to cover crew fees, insurance, and transportation to and from the ship.