Barkby and Beeby W.I.

At our January meeting we had a very interesting talk by Alison Briggs about the Mercy Ships. 
Personally I had not heard of these ships before and was quite amazed by what they have achieved and are still achieving. The concept was brought about by Don and Deyon Stephens in 1978 after they saw the appalling lack of medical facilities in war-torn and impoverished nations and decided to do something about it.
They bought a retired ocean liner and transformed it into a state of the art floating hospital. It is funded by donations from individuals, rotary clubs, schools, trusts, churches and companies. The staff are all volunteers and raise money to pay for their own board and food. The Africa Mercy boasts five operating theatres, scanners, x-ray machines, labs, 82 patient beds and 474 staff and has travelled to many countries, performing operations, giving health and agricultural education, also teaching procedures to medical staff. 
Anyone with any form of disability is an outcast in these countries and spend their entire lives at home seeing nobody, some of the stories were quite horrific, which is what makes these ships so invaluable as it gives these people a whole new life.
As Alison said, we were lucky to be born here and not there.. 
If you would like to know more about the charity please visit their website 
Our WI has pledged to knit trauma teddies for them to replenish their stock as these give great comfort to frightened children who have nothing, hopefully we will be able to complete quite a few, any help gratefully received!