The inspiring story of Mercy Ships

For more than four decades, Mercy Ships has been dedicated to a noble cause: providing medical care to the neediest worldwide, directly from the decks of hospital ships. This pursuit of practical charity has changed the lives of over two million people in developing countries. With the ships Africa Mercy and Global Mercy, the largest privately owned floating hospitals in the world, Mercy Ships has had a lasting impact on communities in Africa.

The origin of the dream

The story of Mercy Ships began with a dream, a vision of volunteers traveling the world and encountering dire poverty and a stark lack of medical care. Corjan Rink of Mercy Ships Holland explains: “It’s a very long story, but to make it short, the dream arose to convert a ship into a medical facility and from there to provide care. Over the years, it has evolved into a medical specialist organization that now focuses mainly on the continent of Africa.”

From left to right: Peter Vortman, Corjan Rink and Ben Kok

Logistical support from Steinweg Netherlands

Steinweg Netherlands contributes to the mission of Mercy Ships Holland by providing voluntary logistical support in the port of Rotterdam. Regularly, Steinweg assists in loading containers for Mercy Ships. Peter Vortman of Steinweg Netherlands (Rotterdam) speaks about the value Steinweg places on supporting Mercy Ships. He says: “It’s inspiring to see how our modest contribution to logistics contributes to the larger mission of Mercy Ships. As an employee, I highly appreciate Steinweg doing this without seeking the limelight. It fits our company culture to contribute to such a good cause in a discreet manner.”

Crucial partnerships for progress

Corjan emphasizes the importance of partnerships like that with Steinweg Netherlands: “Without the support of companies like Steinweg, it would not be possible to continue our mission. It’s not just the financial contributions that count, but also sharing knowledge and providing infrastructure that is invaluable.” Therefore, Mercy Ships Holland has established a special branch focusing on involving Dutch companies in its mission. Ben Kok, responsible for this branch within Mercy Ships Holland, explains that the Business Club is an important part of involving companies in the mission of Mercy Ships. By becoming a member of the Business Club, companies can not only provide financial support but also share their expertise and benefit from networking opportunities. Ben says: “We aim to expand our network of companies and establish new partnerships. This way, we can together have an even greater impact and bring about sustainable change in global healthcare.”

Striving for sustainable change

The mission of Mercy Ships encompasses more than just providing direct medical care but also building local capacity and improving the overall healthcare infrastructure. Think of training for medical personnel and establishing partnerships with local hospitals and governments to bring about sustainable improvements. This sustainable approach to medical care is appreciated and supported by Steinweg as it seamlessly aligns with our approach and mindset. As a company that has existed for over 175 years, we focus on the long term. It’s inspiring to see how Mercy Ships systematically improves healthcare in developing countries, which is a crucial step towards a better future for these communities.

The Global Mercy docked next to the Africa Mercy shortly after arriving in Africa for the first time in Dakar, Senegal. This event also marked the first time both ships were in the same location.

Published on: 10 May 2024