Mercy Ships hopes market magic will boost Cargo Day.
Fundraisers are hoping a seasonal upswing in the tanker markets will boost this year’s donations to the $1m mark. Mercy Ships Cargo Day has been switched from 2 October to 6 November as organisers chase $1m in donations. Since it started three years ago, the annual fundraising event has been staged in early October. But with $1m within its sights, the organising committee in Geneva hopes to benefit from a seasonal upswing in the tanker markets by moving the date.
The event has raised almost $2m since it was launched: $314,000 in 2016; $673,000 in 2017; and $860,000 last year. Charterers can pledge cargoes to participating shipbrokers, port agents and inspection companies, who donate 50% of their commission to Mercy Ships. Charterers and shipowners can also pledge donations. All the money raised is used to support Mercy Ships’ medical programme in Africa, where the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, the Africa Mercy, is based.
About 2.5 million people are said to have benefited directly from the organisation’s free medical care. Some 450 surgeons, nurses, catering, administration and other staff work onboard as volunteers.
(Geoff Garfield – Tradewinds)