Help Mercy Ships move forward on International Day of Charity

Africa Mercy at sea

Help Mercy Ships move forward on International Day of Charity

The United Nations’ observance of the International Day of Charity has a special place in our hearts at Mercy Ships. This day, 5th September, commemorates the death of Mother Teresa.

Mother Teresa has been canonised as a saint, and her most merciful acts of kindness and charity toward those in desperate need were underpinned with a deep commitment to bringing people and resources together to provide care and hope. 

Mother Teresa’s selflessness and sense of purpose helped inspire the creation of Mercy Ships itself. Our founder, Don Stephens, was fortunate enough to meet her in 1977, in Kolkata. She asked him three questions: 

Why were you born?

Where is the pain in your life?

What are you doing about your dreams?

This call to action inspired Don to put in motion an idea that he admits seemed far-fetched at the time: using a hospital ship full of volunteers to deliver medical care to parts of the world where it is needed the most. And 40 years later Mercy Ships has touched more than 2.6 million lives. 

Mother Teresa’s spirit of putting others before ourselves continues to drive Mercy Ships to this day. And, with the support of our donors and volunteers, we’re committed to moving forward with our mission to bring hope and healing to those in desperate need — despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19.

In many parts of the world, there is a great need for treatments that many of us take for granted: cataract surgery to prevent blindness, cleft lip repair to allow a baby to eat and smile, removal of a facial tumour to enable the shunned to return to society. A staggering 5 billion people worldwide don’t have access to safe, affordable, timely surgery: a global health crisis that endures even as the world struggles with the new pandemic. 

These challenges have changed some parts of our work in Africa, but know that our spirit endures and our work will continue, and, with your ongoing support, we will Move Mercy Forward together. 

Today, on International Day of Charity, we remember Mother Teresa’s question to Don Stephens: What are you doing about your dreams? 

We dream of a world where everyone has access to the medical care they need. And every day we’re working to make that dream a reality. But we can’t do it without you. 

You can make a difference — in fighting a pandemic, in offering hope, in offering healing to the people who need it most.