Displaying items by tag: Mercy Ships
This is the third year in a row that Stena Line have launched a donation campaign in favour of the non-profit organisation Mercy Ships life-changing work, bringing free medical care to where it’s needed the most with their floating hospital Africa Mercy.
During the month of October guests travelling onboard Stena Line ferries are given the opportunity to donate by rounding up every purchase. All donations during the campaign will be matched by the UK Government.
The campaign “Round Up for Charity” will be live onboard the operators fleet of 37 ferries in Europe during the month of October.
Guests travelling are given the opportunity to round up every onboard purchase in restaurants, bars, cafés and shops. To round off the campaign, Stena Line will round up the donated amount as well. The full amount will be donated to the life-changing work of Mercy Ships, bringing free medical care to some of the poorest countries in the world.
“In October more than 500,000 people are travelling onboard Stena Line’s ferries in Europe and if everyone contributes with something, we will easily exceed last year’s donation of 200,000 Swedish kronor (SEK)”, says Erik Lewenhaupt, Head of Sustainability, Brand & Communication at Stena Line.
This year the Stena Line and Mercy Ship campaign is part of the UK Aid Match initiative #changetheodds and all donations during the campaign will be matched by the UK government*.
Mercy Ships floating hospital the Africa Mercy is currently in the port of Dakar, Senegal. The ship arrived in August 2019 and will stay throughout June 2020. Every donation will make a great difference and an example of this is that less than 1,500 SEK is enough to give one person their eyesight back with a simple cataract eye-operation.
Since the start in 1976 Mercy Ships have provided close to 50,000 eye operations. One of the patients is Monique from Cameroon who lost her sight from cataract at six years of age, stopping her from attending school. At the age of nine a simple eye-operation onboard Mercy Ships changed her life in less than 20 minutes, and she got her eyesight back. Soon she could return to school and her future is bright, in more than one way.
To read more about Monique's story click here.
A successful partnership
Stena Line and the non-governmental organisation Mercy Ships initiated a partnership in 2017 and have since then run several donation campaigns together onboard the ferry fleet raising more than 350,000 SEK in total. The operator has also initiated their own volunteer programme, offering employees the opportunity to apply for volunteer positions onboard Africa Mercy for a period of 2-6 months. The Stena Line volunteers are guaranteed leave of absence and the cost for transportation and vaccinations is covered by the company.
“The partnership with Mercy Ships is an important part of Stena Line’s corporate social responsibility and engages everyone from the management to our employees working onboard, but also our guests and partners which we a proud of” adds Lewenhaupt.
*Donations received between the 1st of October and the 31st of December will be matched by the UK government.
For further information visit the MercyShips website here.
Following another successful volunteer program in 2018, two more employees from a ferry company are preparing for a three-month adventure, joining the Mercy Ships hospital ship ‘Africa Mercy’.
In addition to fundraising and raising awareness for the humanitarian NGO, Stena Line also aims to contribute the unique technical and naval competence held by its employees to the work of Mercy Ships.
In the next few days two Stena Line Able Seamen, Martina Thowsen and Alexander Gustafsson, will commence their journey in the Las Palmas ship yard where the hospital ship Africa Mercy is scheduled for maintenance before continuing the journey down to the coast of Senegal. Exactly what their specific tasks will be depends on the ship’s needs at the time, but they both up for the challenge.
“I feel very prepared for what is yet to come and want to thank my colleagues at Stena Line who have shared with me their very valuable experience and knowledge”, says Alexander Gustafsson, Able Seaman at Stena Nautica, operating on the Varberg - Grenaa route.
There are more than 200 different roles required to run the Africa Mercy ship and even though medical care is the substantive part of the operation, other professions are much needed including carpenters, mechanics, security officers and chefs to mention just a few. Onboard there will be around 50 different nationalities sharing their knowledge and onboard experiences as part of the team.
“I am looking forward to meeting people from other cultures and countries, but most of all I am looking forward to contributing to this great cause. Even though I’m not working with the medical care team, on Africa Mercy I will still be helping to improve people’s lives”, says Martina Thowsen, Able Seaman on Stena Scandinavica, which operates the Gothenburg - Kiel route.
The volunteer program is part of Stena Line’s sustainability strategy, which combines three dimensions of sustainability; economic, ecological and social. The program was launched in 2017 and employees from all eight of the shipping company’s regions are encouraged to apply. In accordance with Mercy Ship´s values, all volunteers work for free. Stena Line guarantees leave of absence and provides overhead expenses and all necessary vaccinations.
#ferry - During a month-long, fleet-wide donation campaign, Round Up for Charity, Stena Line and its customers raised an impressive €20,000 for the charity organisation Mercy Ships. The funds will enable Mercy Ship to help 133 people to get their sight back on board the hospital ship Africa Mercy.
The campaign which took place in November, involved customers across the Stena fleet of 38 vessels, who were encouraged to round up their onboard purchases and make a donation to Mercy Ships – a charity organisation sailing around the world bringing free, life-saving medical care to where it’s needed the most. There was also an impressive number of employee-initiatives to raise even more money for the charity. Some Stena Line employees rowed and cycling on board crossing the Irish Sea while others arranging quiz walks a shore and cake sales on board.
“An essential part of our partnership with Mercy Ships is to raise awareness about the organisation and this campaign has not only resulted in a generous monetary contribution from our customers, but also that more people are aware of Mercy Ships and their inspiring work. Many thanks to our employees for their engagement with the charity and their wonderful initiatives all across Europe”, says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO at Stena Line.
Stena Line’s customers donated €17,532, beating the result from last year’s donation campaign which ran for twice as long. With the additional contribution from the ferry operator, rounding up as well, the total amount of €20,000 will enable Mercy Ships help 133 people to get their sight back on board the hospital ship Africa Mercy.
“Because everyone on board Africa Mercy is there on a volunteer basis, we have managed to reduce the cost of an eye surgery to approximately €150. We are grateful so many of Stena Line’s customers chose to support our work and by doing so this has helped to change many lives. It has also been great to see the enthusiasm and engagement among the employees at Stena Line during the campaign,” said Tomas Fransson, National Director for Mercy Ships, Sweden.
The Round Up for Charity campaign was launched on all the ferries from 1 November. It ran for almost four weeks ending on Tuesday 27 November, a date which marked this year’s #GivingTuesday – a charity equivalent to Black Friday and Cyber Monday where instead of shopping people were encouraged to make a charity donation.
The humanitarian non-governmental organisation and Stena Line became partners in February 2017. The aim of the partnership is to raise awareness of Mercy Ships, increase the interest for donations among ferry customers and partners, as well as promote volunteering with their employees to share their unique technical and naval competence.
“In Mercy Ships, we have found a partner that is committed to helping those who need it the most, and like us see the benefits and the flexibility of having the ocean and ships as your workplace. This partnership is the most important part of our social sustainability initiatives, as it gives us an exciting opportunity to involve our employees, customers and partners in helping to make a difference. It also embodies our core value – care”, says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO at Stena Line.
#MercyShips- Mercy Ships a NGO humanitarian agency and Stena Line, the world’s largest privately owned ferry company, have decided to enter a long-term partnership. The goal is to raise general awareness about the charity, promote volunteering and charitable giving both within the ferry line itself as well as amongst its passengers and partners.
Mercy Ships owns and operates the largest civilian hospital-ship in the world to deliver free, world-class health care services to the poorest of the poor together with capacity building and sustainable development to nations in the developing world. Since 1978 Mercy Ships has helped more than 2.5 million people.
The ship’s crew is made up of more than 400 volunteers from up to 40 nations. Surgeons, nurses, technical, marine and many other professionals, an average of a 1 000 volunteers yearly, pay their own expenses to aid those in need of safe surgical expertise and healthcare.
“We have found a partner with the right qualifications and commitment who, like us, sees the advantages and flexibility in having the sea and ships as workplace. Care is part of our soul which means that our sustainability work includes more than just environmental initiatives. Our partnership with Mercy Ships now becomes an important part of that work and it gives us an exciting opportunity to involve our staff, customers and partners in making a difference.” says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO at Stena Line.
“Mercy Ships is a unique organisation and we very pleased to see the great support from Stena Line. They have taken our mission to their heart and it is great to see their willingness to partner with us to support the work we do,” stated Pascal Andréasson, Head of Marketing for Mercy Ships Sweden.
At the end of January, Stena Line’s CEO Niclas Mårtensson visited the Africa Mercy, (currently docked in Cotonou, Benin), to see for himself the work done on-board. The Mercy Ship is a former Scandinavian rail ferry which was converted to a hospital ship with five operating theatres and spends ten months at a time in African port cities. The impressions at the visit were many as Niclas Mårtensson says:
“I see the great need to support Africa, where Mercy Ships with their volunteers, their commitment and knowledge, make an enormous difference. During the stay on-board the vessel in West-Africa, where I met patients and saw the operation of the organisation, I realised that this is a life-changing contribution. To see and experience this is a very important experience for me.”
Stena Line’s vessels and social channels will be able to reach some 10 million people every year with information about Mercy Ships.
During the spring of 2017 Stena Line will cooperate with Mercy Ships Sweden to bring awareness of the charity’s commendable cause on their vessels in all of Europe.
The ferry operator is also presently working to set up a programme for sponsoring staff/crew who would like to join as volunteers on Mercy Ships vessels.
The keen sailors, most of whom have just finished their exams, will be sailing a 39ft yacht round the coast of Ireland over six days in August, to raise money for the international charity, Mercy Ships. The charity provides free medical and humanitarian aid to the poorest countries in Africa via its 500ft hospital ship, the Africa Mercy. It is the first time any of the youngsters have undertaken such a challenge and their training starts this week at the Kinsale Yacht Club, where they will familiarise themselves with the yacht Sonas kindly supplied to them for the challenge by its owner David Ross
Ben Fusco, 19, from Kinsale, said, "We are all keen sailors and wanted to combine our love of sailing with doing something for charity. There are lots of great maritime related charities out there but when we heard about the work of Mercy Ships, we were taken by the idea that a ship provides free medical care to some of the poorest people in the world.
"Hearing that thousands of people every year are given free medical care by volunteers on the ship was inspiring and we knew we had to do something special to raise money for them – hence our Round Ireland Challenge.
More on the forum thread started by Ben Fusco HERE.