Who We Are

Since 1991, Mercy Ships has partnered with African governments and Ministries of Health to offer safe, free surgeries to those who need them, while also working to strengthen national surgical and anesthetic systems.

At the invitation of host countries, Mercy Ships’ hospital vessels deliver accessible surgical care and other healthcare services to those with little access. An international faith-based organization, Mercy Ships was founded in 1978 and has focused entirely on partnering with African nations for the past three decades.

Working with in-country partners in the government, medical, and nonprofit sectors, Mercy Ships also provides training and mentorship to national healthcare professionals and supports the construction of medical infrastructure. Mercy Ships strives to be a trusted partner and ally to its African host nations, supporting their ongoing work to improve access to safe surgical, obstetric, and anesthetic care.

Each year, more than 3,000 volunteer professionals from over 60 countries globally serve on board the world’s two largest non-governmental hospital ships, the Africa Mercy® and the Global Mercy™. Professionals such as surgeons, dentists, nurses, health trainers, cooks, and engineers give of their time and skills. Dedicated national crewmembers also work alongside volunteers in their own countries while the ship is docked, providing vital services including translation and patient care.

Mercy Ships also has national offices in 16 countries globally.

The work of Mercy Ships is only made possible by the generosity of supporters and volunteers.

 Key People

Dr. Juliette Tuakli

Dr. Juliette has been Mercy Ships’ Diplomatic Ambassador for Africa since 2022. In this role she supports the activation of strategic partnerships with governments, diplomatic entities, communities, and social organizations that build awareness, engagement and create opportunities for Mercy Ships to partner with nations.

She fosters new relationships and strengthens existing ones across the continent for Mercy Ships in its mission to bring hope and healing.

How do we respond to the global surgery need?

Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to bring hope and healing to nations who are holistically building stronger healthcare systems.

Check out our stories and updates from our team, partners, patients and volunteers onboard the ship.

Check out our stories and updates from our team, partners, patients and volunteers onboard the ship.

Mercy Ships Africa Bureau

For over 40 years Mercy Ships has been invited to African Nations. Our African Bureau, based out of Benin, is available to answer your questions and to tell you more about our work in Africa. Mercy Ships Africa Bureau established in 11th October 2016 through an Accord de Siège signed by Don Stephens and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Benin

International Board

While living in Lausanne, Switzerland, Don Stephens began a journey that led to the founding of Mercy Ships in 1978. In fact, Don and his wife Deyon lived onboard the first Mercy Ship with their four children for 10 years.Don continues to serve on the  Mercy Ships International Board, which has 38 active members and 2 emeritus members, from 14 nations.