Campaigning medical charity Mercy Ships is looking to Nor-Shipping 2022, taking place 10-13 January, to build support ahead of the launch of Global Mercy™, the world’s largest NGO hospital ship. The organisation has secured a place as Nor-Shipping’s official Charity of Choice and will use ‘Your Arena for Ocean Solutions’ to recruit industry sponsors, raise much-needed funds and drive awareness of its crucial mission.
With the 174-metre, 37,000-ton addition to its fleet, Mercy Ships faces a challenge to recruit marine crew (the ship will more than double the charity’s requirement for volunteers) and generate on-going operational funds. Roger Vassnes, National Director, Mercy Ships Norway, believes Nor-Shipping is a perfect arena to connect with potential supporters.
“This is where the maritime and ocean industries gather,” Vassnes comments. “For four days Oslo and Lillestrøm will be the hub for industry leaders – alive with opportunity, full of energy, and the ideal platform for Mercy Ships to build its network and engage with people that can help us help others.
“With the Global Mercy set to begin its mission in Senegal in spring next year, the timing of Nor-Shipping – and its focus on taking positive #ACTION within the ocean space – couldn’t be better. With the help of Nor-Shipping and its audience we can optimise our impact, helping the poorest communities in Africa gain access to first class care, while also training local medical personnel to permanently improve conditions. This is a long-term, sustainable and critically important undertaking… and we need all the support we can get to carry on changing lives and delivering opportunities.”
Since launching in 1978, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 55 countries, providing services valued at USD 1.7 billion, and directly benefitting almost 3 million people. The charity originally partnered with Nor-Shipping’s summer 2019 outing, which attracted some 50,000 participants from across the globe. For 2022, the first ever winter Nor-Shipping, Mercy Ships will connect with visitors through an exhibition stand and with a seminar focused on the plans for its new vessel.
“I can’t think of a more worthy cause to support,” says Per Martin Tanggaard, Nor-Shipping Director External Relations. “Mercy Ships offers people that have no, or extremely limited, access to medical amenities state-of-the-art facilities, expert care and, in many cases, the chance of a new life. The addition of the Global Mercy is a huge boon for the organisation, but it also creates a new set of demands. That’s why they need our help now more than ever.”
He continues: “Nor-Shipping is a networking paradise for maritime and ocean stakeholders, so this is a great opportunity for the charity to come face-to-face with the decision-makers that can make a difference. This is the epitome of taking positive business #ACTION and I hope Mercy Ships can really capitalise on this unique gathering. I’d encourage everyone to offer whatever support they can.”
Mercy Ships is funded entirely by charitable donors and volunteers. As well as providing hospital ships and training to local people, the charity also renovates medical facilities to ensure ongoing benefits for communities. Mercy Ships concentrates on the sub-Sahara region of Africa, where over 93 percent of the population have no access to safe and timely surgical procedures.
Nor-Shipping 2022 will feature six themed exhibition halls across a total of 22,500 sq m of space at the Norges Varemesse facility in Lillestrøm, Norway. Almost 900 exhibiting companies are expected, from around 50 countries. A range of knowledge sharing and networking activities – including the high-profile Ocean Leadership Conference – take place across the week, with the After Work at Aker Brygge social scene centring on one of Oslo’s most celebrated city centre locations.