A TV star on board

For many of our patients healing their physical condition can be just part of their road to recovery. Another important part is helping restore their self-esteem and helping their hope for the future. Our nurses and other medical staff do their bit to encourage our patients, but they also receive a helping hand the hospital chaplains.

Almost all of our hospital chaplains come from the regions we are working in and whilst some work for years on board sailing from country to country, others are locals that come from the specific country that the ship in is. Because they speak the local languages, they are better able to counsel and support our patients, helping speed their physical and emotional recovery.

Last year in Benin Fidèle Kossou worked on board as a chaplain yet many of those she worked with didn’t even know that she is a journalist, chief editor of a TV arts program, and is working on a documentary about the justice system.

“Many patients have lived for years with huge deformities,” says Fidèle. “They have been rejected by society. No one wants to be their friend, to spend time with them…to even smile!” So Fidèle and the other chaplains spend time getting to know the patients both before and after their surgery. “I’ve learned on the Africa Mercy, that people need someone to listen,” she says, “There are so many people who really need love…”