Perspective of Lamarana

Lamarana Shour with her niece, Mariama Kamara, on the gangway of the Africa Mercy.

When Lamarana’s niece, Mariama, was scheduled for a free surgery on the Africa Mercy to repair her injured hand, Lamarana put her studies on hold to become her caregiver during her 4-month stay on board the ship.

This ship is very big. I was worried for my niece, but I wanted to get onboard because it is so exciting that she can get this operation!“ said Lamarana. 

While taking care of her niece, Lamarana also found time to assist the hospital crew by translating for other patients in Fula, Mende, Krio, Temne, English and French. 

The day after they both could return home, Lamarana received a phone call from Mercy Ships asking her if she was willing to return - but this time as a Mercy Ships day worker.

During each mission, Mercy Ships hires up to 200 local West Africans to help in the daily functioning of the ship and many gain skills that will benefit them after the ship leaves.

Lamarana accepted the offer and translated for the staff and even cleaned floors in her spare time. If a patient was sad, Lamarana sang and danced for them, spreading joy throughout the ship.

"I was so happy to get that call and to come back to the ship! I have learned so many things. It has given me courage to do more,“ she explains.