By: Raymond Billy
YWAM Ships Kona has entered into a medical partnership with Hands of Hope NorthWest, a non-profit mercy ministry in Nampa, Idaho. Hands of Hope’s mission is to “facilitate the movement of donated medical supplies and equipment to those in need,” according to the organization’s website. It will help YWAM Ships procure medical supplies for health-care outreaches to Papua New Guinea, the Marshall Islands and Panama.
Only about 40 percent of PNG health-care centers have electricity or adequate medical supplies, according to the United Nations Development
Programme. Statistics from the World Bank show mortality rates for children younger than 5 years old in and around Bocas del Toro, Panama (near YWAM Ships’ base) is 2.4 times the nation’s average. This is due in large part to lack of safe health care. More than two-thirds of rural Marshall Islands births are not overseen by a skilled, well-equipped health care worker, according to UNICEF. YWAM Ships is able to help bring relief to these situations with the addition of donated supplies and volunteer service.
The collaboration between YWAM Ships and Hands of Hope was finalized after their respective directors, Brett Curtis and Debbie Wheeler, met last month to tour the Nampa warehouse. Curtis said assistance from organizations such as Hands of Hope helps YWAM Ships maintain a stronger financial position.
“Gifts in kind like consumables for our work on board ships are a tremendous boost for our organization. It relieves us from having to spend cash on buying these important items for our outreaches,” Curtis said. “Thank you, Hands of Hope, for your kindness to those in need around the world.”