Our History

The Beginnings

It is 1978. The former cruise ship Victoria leaves the waters of Venice, Italy. Its glory is part of the past, its future, uncertain. But for a group of ordinary young people, it symbolizes a new destiny.

Don and Deyon Stephens and some friends, at that time based in Switzerland, dreamed of the day when the ship would sail again – this time not as a luxury cruise ship for the rich, but as a hospital ship bringing hope to those in need. Some thought it was an impossible mission.

The deposit was paid upon signing the contract on July 7, 1978. The purchase of the vessel for one million euros was completed on 5 October through loans, mainly through a Swiss bank. Continuous efforts over four years transformed the cruise ship into a hospital ship. In 1982, she sailed for the first time christened Anastasis – the first Mercy Ship.

Today, the Mercy Ships fleet has visited more than 56 different developing countries, bringing health and future to more than 2.8 million people in need. More than 1,200 volunteers from more than 60 nations are working on the front lines and behind the scenes to support the work carried out on and from hospital ships.

The story of Mercy Ships is one of hardship and triumph, of success and failure, of weakness and strength – men and women who risked a step out of the ordinary to do good in an ocean of need. Mercy Ships was created by a group of individuals who believe that God loves the world enough to mobilize ships and people, materials and money, time and effort – to bring health and future to those most in need.

The beginnings of Mercy Ships in Spain

En 1978 mientras vivían en Lausanne, Suiza, Don y Deyon Stephens tuvieron la idea de poner una flota de naves con personal médico y material de ayuda humanitaria a bordo para ayudar a las personas más necesitadas. Un número de españoles estuvieron involucrados en la transformación de la primera nave Anastasis en el buques-hospital no militar más grande del mundo. Esta colaboración española continuó a lo largo de los primeros años de vida de Naves de Esperanza pero se fue diluyendo con el tiempo.

En el año 2000, Naves de Esperanza fue registrada como ONG en España para poder involucrar a los españoles una vez más en esta aventura. Hasta la fecha de hoy, los distintos buques de Naves de Esperanza ya han trabajado en más de 56 naciones en vías de desarrollo, respaldados por las 17 oficinas de Naves de Esperanza repartidas en distintos países desarrollados, que apoyan el trabajo que se realiza sobre el terreno.

Naves de Esperanza España tiene como objetivo concienciar a la población, reclutar voluntarios, recaudar material y apoyo de empresas y compañías y levantar los fondos necesarios para continuar con esta valiosa misión.


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