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Volunteers are Changing Young Lives Around the World

Sunday 1st August 2010

A ship of books offers medical and practical aid

Norma Hernandez is a Mexican volunteer on board Logos Hope the world’s largest floating book fair. She hands out goody bags of books to children who have never owned a book, or had pencils of their own. Hernandez says "To many children around the world, these are everyday commodities - things to which they don’t attach value. But to these children in Liberia, books and writing instruments were priceless."

As a volunteer on board Logos Hope, the largest floating book fair in the world, Norma knows the importance of volunteering. From the time the ship began sailing way back in 1970 the crew of Logos Hope volunteers have been busy giving hope and help to the underprivileged. Logos Hope has been active in Guyana and West Africa, particularly Sierra Leone, Ghana and Liberia, where last year the doctors on board carried out hundreds of free eye examinations and dental treatment in clinics set up on the ship. Medical aid is not the only help that Logos Hope offers. In Liberia last year, the team helped rebuild orphanages and donated 50,000 books to community groups and colleges. In Sierra Leone, they donated 1,300 books to establish 13 new library branches in rural areas and trained 37 people to run them. While in Georgetown, Guyana, in 2009, the crew helped to complete several building projects for the community.

Originally used to ship books from England to India, the vessels operated by GBA Ships are today floating libraries, which welcome people at the ports they dock offering books at heavily discounted prices. Over the years the ships have welcomed 400 million visitors in 1,400 port visits in 162 countries.

For more inforation visit their website at www.gbaships.org