Transformed lives: our patients

About 5 billion people worldwide do not have adequate access to surgical interventions. Every year, 143,000 surgeries are lacking. Behind every statistic is a story, a life – a person waiting for hope and healing.

Mercy Ships exists as a compassionate response to a world in need. Together we are part of one race on our planet, irrespective of country, creed or colour.

Discover the stories of lives transformed through hope and healing!

Story of Umu

“I was afraid to see the tumor on her face,” Yei remembered about the day she gave birth and saw Umu for the first time.

Story of Samba

After enduring 56 years of hardship and exclusion, a mere two hours proved transformative, radically reshaping Samba's life and bestowing upon him a newfound sense of dignity.

Story of Astou

Two surgeries​ for Astou Meet Astou. Her life has had shadows of pain. When she was 20 years old, she lost her son during childbirth, but that wasn’t the only

I want to volunteer!

Volunteer testimonies

Our volunteers are selfless servants. They deliver the highest quality care to individuals who otherwise would have little access to medical services. And they pay their own way, so every franc donated to Mercy Ships can go directly to helping the world’s forgotten poor.

Captain John Borrow

“We provide for people who have lost hope in a very direct and purposeful way, so it just works!”

Dr. Sarah

“When I signed up, I had come for two weeks before but then I signed up for a year… and it will certainly be a lot more!”


I remember I did the whole application, wondering, ‘Am I ever going to be on this ship? Is it actually real?’” remembers Lukas, a vehicle mechanic from Switzerland. “Then, one day, you stand on the gangway, and you can’t believe that you are really there.


Ten years ago, whilst training as a nurse, I travelled across Africa and fell in love with the continent. Mercy Ships gave me the opportunity to return there and to help where the needs are great.


After a first experience in 2018, Larissa did not want to stop there. Having become a nurse in the meantime, she hoped to return to the Africa Mercy as soon as possible. Finally, in September 2020, the opportunity presented itself… but in a completely different context because of Covid-19! Newly back on solid ground, Larissa shares her impressions of this second mission with us, certainly very different from the first one!


Some of our volunteers hold positions that may be out of sight but are nonetheless essential. Alphonse, originally from Singapore, is clearly one of them. After 10 years spent in the depths of the Anastasis (1991-1997) and the Africa Mercy (2001-2006), he joined our Lausanne offices in April as technical support for our maritime department.

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