As a gesture of appreciation for her wonderful engagement for Mercy Ships during last year’s donation campaign, Sarah Scowcroft, Cabin Assistant on Superfast X, who recently visited the hospital ship Africa Mercy in Guinea to see how the £7415 her colleagues and Sarah helped raised is being used. When visiting Africa Mercy, Sarah truly got an understanding of the magnitude of Mercy Ships’ work.
“I can’t think of words to describe the experience. The work they do is amazing, and it is not until you get there you realise how big of an operation it is. It is not only this huge hospital ship where they perform surgeries but also tents and buildings ashore where they set up an eye clinic, a dental clinic and waiting rooms that get packed with people every day waiting to get help.”
She also got the first-hand experience of the life-saving work the charity does, and how the big little things we do contribute to Mercy Ships. “During my visit, I got to see surgery being performed, met patients and heard all of their stories. It was quite emotional, but it also made feel good to know we are a part of this. Our input might be small on the massive scale, but it has an impact, says Sarah.
One of the essential ideas behind Mercy Ships is that when the ship moves on, the good work stays. That is why the charity offers specialised training to local health professionals, provide medical tools and resources as well as help build better medical facilities. For example, in Guinea, they built a dental clinic next to the university where a number of dentists are training. They also establish a Hospital Out-Patient Extension (HOPE) centre to provide housing for patients and caregivers.
“Visiting the HOPE Centre was one of my best experiences. We got to play with the children who were recovering there, and I realised I need to do something for Mercy Ships every year now, for the rest of my life. I’ve been talking about it with the crew since I got back home, and it’ll be hard to top the 34-mile hike from last year, but we’ll figure something out.”