Vol­un­teer has dif­fer­ent des­ti­na­tion

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Janine Boyes usu­ally lives on a hos­pi­tal ship in West Africa.

Three years af­ter she left Mata­mata to vol­un­teer her ad­min­is­tra­tion skills with Mercy Ships, she is ready for a new chal­lenge.

As Mercy Ships pre­pares for the char­ity’s first field ser­vice in Cen­tral Africa, Janine de­parts for the Repub­lic of Congo (ROC)* for 10 weeks work­ing with the ad­vance team al­ready in place be­fore the ves­sel’s Au­gust ar­rival.

Janine will help set up sys­tems and pro­cesses in con­junc­tion with and at the re­quest of govern­ment min­is­ters and lo­cal lead­ers, to pro­vide des­per­ately needed health care ser­vices and train­ing.

‘‘I’ve been so in­volved in pre­par­ing for the ad­vance trip for quite a while; my de­par­ture at the end of May will be here be­fore I know it,’’ she said.

The Africa Mercy will dock in Pointe Noire on the north side of the Congo River for 10 months, help­ing al­le­vi­ate the coun­try’s health care is­sues, aris­ing from ex­treme poverty.

‘‘ The ROC is a new coun­try for Mercy Ships so we are some­what go­ing into the un­known,’’ Janine said.

Some of the ad­vance team are al­ready there, pre­par­ing for the ship’s ar­rival in­clud­ing set­ting up venues for a big screen­ing day and also for some of the off-ship den­tal and oph­thalmic pro­grammes.

Janine leads a small team that will hire 200 lo­cal peo­ple to help dur­ing the 10-month field ser­vice.

‘‘ They will help us in many ar­eas in­clud­ing trans­lat­ing from lo­cal lan­guages and French to English, es­cort­ing pa­tients from one lo­cal­ity to an­other, and

Photo: DE­BRA BELL / MERCY SHIPS

New mis­sion: As Mercy Ships pre­pares for the char­ity’s first field ser­vice in Cen­tral Africa, Janine Boyes of Mata­mata de­parts for the Repub­lic of Congo for 10 weeks.

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