Réhane Favereau illustrates 45 years of Mercy Ships

Swiss artist specializing in the art of Swiss cut-outs

Réhane Favereau illustrates 45 years of Mercy Ships​ with Swiss cut-out

Swiss artist Réhane Favereau has unveiled an exceptional work to celebrate 45 years of Mercy Ships. The original artwork presented as a gift to the founders, Don and Deyon Stephens, is a unique creation recounting the organization’s humanitarian epic through remarkably fine cut-outs.

A talented artist with a big heart

While still working as a teacher, Réhane Favereau discovered her passion for Swiss decoupage (cut-outs) over 26 years ago. Since 2008, she has transformed this age-old technique into a distinct form of art. Rapidly attaining acclaim, she actively participated in various solo and group exhibitions. For the past 15 years, her artistic pieces have adorned a boutique in Geneva’s Old Town, providing a permanent showcase for her talent. Each cut-out crafted by her narrates a tale, and her unique creations stand as a testament to her undeniable skill, capturing the admiration of art.

Réhane Favereau’s commitment

At the request of an acquaintance, Réhane undertook to create a commemorative piece for Mercy Ships. This organization, which she has known for several years, is close to her heart, particularly since her daughter was a volunteer there, recently returning from a mission lasting over 10 months.

The creation of a work dedicated to 45 years of Mercy Ships

While crafting the piece dedicated to Mercy Ships, Réhane engaged in profound contemplation. The task was daunting—translating 45 years of history into cut-outs. Her aim was to grasp the core of Mercy Ships. Drawing inspiration from an African proverb, “Alone we go faster, together we go further,” she painstakingly fashioned a piece where each word and every cut-out intricately narrate the story of Mercy Ships.

L’histoire autour de cette œuvre en papier découpé


Set within frames, each of Réhane’s cut-outs is adorned with meaningful words like joy, forgiveness, love, and hope, symbolically intertwining the Swiss and international roots of Mercy Ships. At the heart of the design lies the iconic Mercy Ships heart, and Réhane found inspiration in portraying it as the first page of a grand book chronicling the organization’s history.

The silhouettes of founders Don and Deyon Stephens echo the genesis of this remarkable humanitarian journey, overseen by the backdrop of Switzerland, a nod to the NGO’s origins in Geneva. The inaugural mission to Togo in 1990 marked the commencement of an impressive chronology. A pivotal moment arrived in 1994 with the launch of the Caribbean Mercy ship, followed by a significant relocation to Dallas, Texas, where the organization’s headquarters stand today.

Madagascar and the west coast of Africa left indelible imprints, as did the introductions of the Africa Mercy in 2007 and the Global Mercy in 2023. Across landscapes, jeeps traverse territories, cities embrace individuals with diverse disabilities, all on a quest for healing. Dentistry, orthopedics, and maxillofacial surgery symbolize the promise of a better life in each operation.

Reunions between mothers and children, celebrations of newfound life after surgery, the joy of walking discovered by a daughter, and the passing on of knowledge by nurses—all contribute to the mosaic of hope. The training and commitment of volunteers form the sturdy pillars of this monumental endeavor.

Réhane Favereau’s cut-outs, each a historical vignette, are woven from threads of courage and love. The art of paper-cutting emerges as a delicate fusion of research, creativity, talent, and generosity.

L’art de la découpe sur papier est un doux mélange de recherche, de créativité, de talent et de générosité.

Years of experience behind this art for Mercy Ships

Réhane Favereau has been exhibiting her works in Christmas markets and other venues internationally for years. Réhane has made the paper-cutting for high profile events including Swiss-Toyota’s 40 th anniversary. Her Swiss paper-cutting was presented at the Fujikawa Paper Art Forest Museum and designed a two-tone poya for the Swiss Mint for the commemorative 10 franc coin of 2015 and exhibited in numerous museums since. In 2022, She made large screens for Cartier for their new boutique in Interlaken and a presentation cut-out for Japan’s ANDERSEN 2023 Jumping Hours Rising Sun Edition watch. A talented and gifted artist, she continues to produce beautiful work, including this piece for Mercy Ships.

The work of Réhane Favereau presented to the founders of Mercy Ships

It was during the support gala and celebration of the 45th anniversary of the NGO Mercy Ships in May 2023 that Réhane Favereau offered her work to the founders, Don and Deyon Stephens.

The moment was filled with emotions. The artist had the opportunity to explain in detail her work, thus providing them with an immersion into the history she had portrayed.

A little drop in the ocean of solidarity

For Réhane Favereau, every donation is a drop of water in the ocean of solidarity. Offering her talent and creation to support a cause as noble as that of Mercy Ships brings her immense satisfaction. She encourages everyone to contribute, emphasizing that supporting Mercy Ships is an investment in the well-being of thousands of people, and that every donation matters.

Giving is a source of joy much deeper than the fleeting satisfaction of a superficial expense.

In the tradition of traditional Swiss cut-outs, Réhane Favereau has managed to breathe new life into this age-old art. Her creations, from Mercy Ships to the Federal Mint, bear witness to unparalleled talent. Each cut-out tells a story, each piece a testimony of commitment and generosity. As the artist continues her work, it is undeniable that she leaves an indelible mark in the realm of Swiss cut-out art.

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René Progin
René is Communication and Media Manager for Mercy Ships Switzerland.

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