2017 FHCC Program - Register Today!
A Day with Sea Mercy!
Below is a short video about the Floating Health Care Clinic program with Sea Mercy (told from the volunteer's perspective).
The Kingdom of Tonga & The Republic of Fiji
With our Floating Health Care Clinic (FHCC) vessels operating from April through October, we have 10 different rotation dates for our volunteers to chose from across the South Pacific. With medical, dental and ophthalmology care now being being offered, there are incredible opportunities for all health care related volunteers on each rotation. We will once again be providing FHCC services to Tonga to serve the Vava'u and Ha'apai island groups (23-30 targeted islands) and to work in Fiji to serve their 50+ remote islands in the northern and southern Lau Group. We will also be expanding our service types to include dental and ophthalmology services and volunteers.
Here is a recent short film on Sea Mercy's Disaster Response & Recovery efforts iin Fiji following Cyclone Winston:.
Available Volunteer Assignments
In 2017 we have 10 incredible rotation opportunities available for our Sea Mercy volunteers. Our rotations will consist of the following combination of health care service volunteers:
1. Medical Care Services (doctors, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists)
2. Dental Care Services (dentists, dental assistants, hygienists, technicians)
3. Ophthalmology Care Services (ophthalmologists, vision assistants)
2017 Schedule - April thru October
Each rotation will have a minimum of 4 volunteers operating (some up to 8), of which three must be health care related (i.e. doctor, nurse, dentist, and health ministry staff member). This allows our volunteers to bring a spouse/family member* to join them on their rotation as a support crew. Below are the 2017 rotation dates:
1 | Rotation 1 (April 3-14th)
2 | Rotation 2 (April 24-May 6th)
3 | Rotation 3 (May 15-27th)
4 | Rotation 4 (June 5-17th)
5 | Rotation 5 (June 26-July 8th)
6 | Rotation 6 (July 17-29th)
7 | Rotation 7 (August 7-19th)
8 | Rotation 8 (August 28-September 9th)
9 | Rotation 9 (September 18-30th)
10 | Rotation 10 (October 9-21st)
11 | Emergency Relief Needs (as needed from November 1st-March 30th)
- * For spouses or family members joining the rotation, please understand that this is not a "chartered vacation" and you will be expected to participate in the support and crew activities of the FHCC. If you (and your spouse/family member) are interested in serving on any of the below rotations, be sure to include them when completing the online assignment request form.
2 Week Rotation Schedule:
|Day of Week||Goals/Activities|
|Day 0 (Sunday)||Volunteers should plan their schedules to be on the island and close to where they will embark the boat. Depending on the rotation schedule and weather forecast the captain may request for you to come on board that day.|
|Day 1 (Monday)||All volunteers will board the FHCC vessel. The specific times and locations will be communicated to you by the FHCC captain. Depending on the schedule and weather the FHCC vessel will then sail to the first remote island. This may or may not involve an overnight sail.|
|Day 2-6 (Tuesday - Saturday)||The FHCC vessel will sail to 1-3 remote islands for patient evaluation, care, training and interaction. There will also be time to relax and enjoy the islands you are visiting.|
|Day 7 (Sunday)||The FHCC vessel is a day of rest and relaxation for volunteers. But that can include time on shore interacting with the locals if you would like.|
|Days 8-11 (Monday - Thursday)||The FHCC vessel will sail to 1-3 additional remote islands for patient evaluation and care and enjoying the tropical paradise. Depending on the weather and distance, the FHCC may depart the last island for the final destination on Thursday.|
|Day 11-12 (Thursday-Friday)||After morning patient evaluation and care, the FHCC vessel will begin its return to either Neiafu, Pangai or Taveuni (depending upon which island group you are working in), anchoring that evening in the main harbor.|
|Day 12 (Friday)||Typically FHCC vessel will drop off the volunteers at the predetermined drop-off location. However, depending on the rotation schedule and weather the captain may request for you stay board that night.|
|Day 13||Volunteers will either stay on the island or depart for home.|
Map of Tonga
Map of Fiji
Volunteer Staff Selection Priority
Our goal is to operate each FHCC in a break-even structure. This requires our volunteers to cover their own costs and why the below health care volunteer selection priority process is used. Should a FHCC rotation not be filled, Sea Mercy's first response will be to reschedule available teams of two volunteers to other vessels similar vessels. The FHCC will not sail unless a minimum of four volunteers are operating from the FHCC during a 2 week rotation.
|Automatic||An organized team of 4 or more volunteers for a rotation (minimum of 2 health care professionals per team)|
|First Choice||Two health care professionals (friends or spouses) willing to share a queen cabin|
|Second Choice||One health care professional and spouse/friend willing to share a queen cabin|
|Third Choice||Single health care professional able to cover full cabin costs (their own cabin)|
|Fourth Choice||Single health care professional at partial cabin costs (above single volunteer cost but below full cabin cost)|
|Fifth Choice||Single health care professional at single volunteer cost|
|Final Option||Single health care professional at below single volunteer cost (partial)|
We understand the challenges of sharing a bed with a friend, but in order to operate the vessels and keep the volunteer costs at the lowest possible, this currently is our only available option until sponsor funding can offset those costs.
Cost Per Volunteer for 2 week rotation
Although this will be the most incredible all inclusive "working holiday" you will ever experience, please understand that this is NOT a chartered cruise. A chartered cruise of this nature would cost from $3,500 to $7,500+ US per person for a 2 week period. Instead, our goal is to operate each FHCC vessel at cost, allowing us to operate as many additional FHCC's as possible in the South Pacific. Based on 4 volunteers, below are the per volunteer cost of operating a FHCC vessel for a two week period in Tonga or Fiji.
|FHCC Items||Costs per Volunteer (2 weeks - US $)|
|Sea Mercy Operations||$250|
To participate in any of the above FHCC rotations, please use the form or email us with any questions.
We understand that the above opportunity is incredible but the cost can be a little intimidating. We are here to help see your dreams, and the dreams of the remote islanders, come true. If you would like assistance in raising the necessary funds for your rotation, or to help offset the costs, take a look at the Fundraising Assistance page for ideas and tools on how Sea Mercy can help.
How to Register?
Registering for a particular rotation date will be on a first come, first service basis, so register early to lock down your time. Use the below link to register online:
Arriving in the village of Felevai
Every stop that Sea Mercy makes at a remote village is a new and beautiful adventure for our volunteers and crew. Felevai village on the remote island of Kapa in Tonga was one of many stops we made.