Mercy Ships, providing life-changing surgeries in some of the neediest countries in the world, picked up another cruise industry donation in the form of €100,000 gift from Costa Group.
This will allow hospital ship Africa Mercy to complete over 400 surgeries during its current assignment in Cotonou, Benin.
CEO Michael Thamm spontaneously pledged the support after a brief presentation at Seatrade Cruise Med by Russ Holmes, director of development/corporate relations for Mercy Ships.
Thamm announced the donation from the main stage of Seatrade Cruise Med in Tenerife after the short presentation that featured Vanya, a young girl with an orthopedic condition called 'windswept legs.' Her family could not afford treatment. Vanya received surgery and therapy free of charge aboard Africa Mercy.
According to Holmes, the gift from the Costa Group is being made through AIDA Cruises brand to Mercy Ships' German office.
During its current months-long stint in Benin, Africa Mercy's all-volunteer medical personnel hope to complete more than 1,700 surgeries on board, treat over 8,000 people at a land-based dental clinic and provide holistic healthcare training to Beninese health professionals.
Mercy Ships is the charity of choice for Cruise Lines International Association and for MedCruise, the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports.
Pullmantur became the first cruise line to sign a partnership agreement to support Mercy Ships last spring, and recently a Voyages to Antiquity 10-person team raised funds for the charity by participating in the Wolf Run. Porthole Cruise Magazine is donating a portion of proceeds from subscriptions in September and October.