Mercy Ships in Switzerland

Mercy Ships began with a dream. In 1978, while living in Lausanne, Switzerland, Don and Deyon Stephens had a vision of ships that would carry medical personnel and relief cargo to help the poor.
Today, Mercy Ships operates the world’s largest non-governmental hospital ship and is represented by 16 offices worldwide.

Bearing the historical roots of the organization, Mercy Ships in Switzerland has an ongoing dedication not only to raising financial resources, but also to facilitating the development of the organization internationally through the efforts of Mercy Ships Global Association.

Mercy Ships in Switzerland plays a key role in the development of the international organisation. Three members of the Swiss Board also participate in the International Board and Board of Mercy Ships Global Association. Both of these boards and their sub-committees are key in making the organizational decisions on how we function, where we sail and how we choose and conduct our field programmes.



Mercy Ships Global is based in Lausanne and exists to coordinate the collaboration of the 16 Mercy Ships National offices and is lead by Bryce Wagner, the Executive Director of Mercy Ships Global. The primary functions of Mercy Ships Global are to promote the sharing of best practice and to foster a unified effort to serve the world's poorest populations. Through its organization of events, conferences and international virtual meetings, Mercy Ships Global helps increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our leadership and directors around the world.

Communications and Marketing

Mercy Ships Switzerland’s creative department, the Creative Pool, serves as a centre of excellence providing various communications services to 16 Mercy Ships locations around the world.

ASSOCIATION MERCY SHIPS (Mercy Ships in Switzerland )

Programme support and development

Mercy Ships in Switzerland is actively involved in supporting the work of Mercy Ships through its involvement in programmatic support in the French speaking nations served by its hospital ship. Programmatic support includes participation in the advance assessment teams who network with the Governments officials and Ministers of Health in host nations to assess potential programmatic services and to begin the preparation of ship visits. Our on board government liaison is key in maintaining and developing relationships with past, present and potential future host countries. The desk officers at the Swiss office follow, evaluate and report to our Swiss donors and partners on programs that are funded by Mercy Ships in Switzerland.


Mercy Ships Switzerland is dedicated to raising financial resources for the operation of the ship and its programmes. The Swiss office is directly responsible to select the projects which will be supported by Swiss funds and interfaces with the project teams in the field to ensure a proper follow up and monitoring. Members of the management and the Board of Mercy Ships Switzerland are also occasionally reviewing the activities undertaken by Mercy Ships on site in the field.


Mercy Ships welcomes those who have the time to devote to the work of bringing hope and healing to the world's poorest peoples. Mercy Ships Switzerland assists the recruitment process of Swiss residents interested in serving with Mercy Ships. Whether is it serving as a volunteer in Switzerland or on a Hospital Ship, Mercy Ships has a place for you!

Network Platform / Hospitality

Thanks to a „right of use“ contract signed with the city of Lausanne, the Swiss office is located in a beautiful historic house which provides a unique meeting and resting place for collaborators from all over the world. The beautiful location is leveraged though its use as a cost center and provides a window into the work in West Africa for those who use the facility.

Media / Awarness

The small but effective team in Switzerland work with local media as well as clubs, churches and business to create partnership in making a lasting difference in Africa. We have heard it said that Mercy Ships is the sleeping beauty of Swiss NGOs.

Fistula, illness of shame

An article about fistula in Africa was published in the Swiss newspaper Le Matin today. Read it here (in French).