When Osman Kamara arrived on the Africa Mercy as a teenager to receive plastic surgery on his burn scars, he had no idea that one day he, too, would be a part of providing others with access to safe, free surgery. A native of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Osman received surgery to correct his burn contractures. After surgery and a month of rehabilitation on the ship, Osman decided he wanted to be a part of the organization that helped change his life. Now, he works as a motorman and plumber with the Africa Mercy crew. Osman shares his experience with Mercy Ships:
Why did you decide you wanted to be a part of the Mercy Ships crew?
After all the pain and suffering that has gone on in my life, I came back to the Africa Mercy to show my gratefulness to the Lord, to the community, and to my brothers and sisters who need help, and to be a testimony to others.
How were you treated while you were a patient on the ship?
I was so excited, and my family was too, because we didn’t have a doctor who could do that kind of operation in Sierra Leone, and we were just getting out of the civil war. I was so pleased with the friendships with the doctors and nurses, and with the amount of
love, kindness, time, and effort that they showed to me—not as a patient, but as brother and son to them.
What is your favorite part about living and working on the Africa Mercy?
I’m always happy to see the transformations that happen on the ship. Patients are coming and living on the ship with smiles on their faces.
How has being a part of the Africa Mercy crew changed you personally?
Mercy Ships has played a vital role in my life, from patient, to crew, to offering me marine training to build up my skills and abilities.
Osman Kamara · Volunteer Motorman/Plumber · Freetown, Sierra Leone