Who is Mercy Ships?

Mercy Ships is a global charity that was founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens. Since that time, Mercy Ships has performed services valued at more than $1 billion, impacting more than 2.48 million of the world’s most desperate people. We have completed more than 581 port visits in 57 nations.

We use hospital ships to transform lives and serve nations one at a time. A ship is the most efficient platform to deliver a state-of-the-art-hospital to regions where clean water, electricity, medical facilities and skilled personnel is limited to nonexistent. And because more than 75% of the world’s population lives within 100 miles of a port city, a hospital ship can reach many people who need care.

How many ships are currently in operation?

At any given time during its 35-year history, Mercy Ships has had between 1 and 3 ships in service. Currently, the Africa Mercy is the only Mercy Ship in service, but it has a greater capacity than all prior hospital ships combined. Since the deployment of the Africa Mercy, the Board of Directors of Mercy Ships has been committed to adding another ship to the fleet, and they are actively pursuing this objective.

How many volunteers and crew are there on board a medical ship?

The Africa Mercy has meeting and work spaces as well as berths for an average crew of 450. The 474 berths include 26 family cabins, 25 couples/2-berth cabins, and the balance remainder are consisting of 1,2,3, and 4-berth cabins.

How does Mercy Ships choose where to go?

There are a number of factors that influence the selection of the next country for a field service. Mercy Ships is committed to serving countries in the lower third of the UN Human Development Index. Also, Mercy Ships must be invited to serve in a country, and the government must agree to full participation with us.

Is all care provided on board the ship?

In addition to the surgeries performed onboard, ship-based teams also serve in local areas providing a wide array of services to increase health and well-being, including dental clinics, community health education and agriculture projects.

Where does my donation go?

Your donation has a huge impact in helping children and adults suffering from facial tumors, cleft lips, blindness, club feet, and more. In fact, your gift TRIPLES in value thanks to our dedicated volunteers—who donate their time and pay their own way—and thanks to  donations from generous corporate partners.

How else can I help?

Give—your gift will transform a life! Volunteer—Experience the blessing of serving the world’s forgotten poor, on a hospital ship in Africa, with volunteers from over 40 nations. We need both medical and non-medical volunteers. Pray—Spend time in prayer for those we serve and the mission God has put on our hearts.