Canberra electrician makes a difference in Africa
Canberra electrician Bobby Gane has found a way to use his skills to help others by volunteering on board the world’s largest independent hospital ship in Africa.
“A friend saw a Facebook post from Mercy Ships announcing electricians were urgently required. He told me about it, sounded amazing, and I went,” Bobby explains.
Bobby first signed up to serve in 2018 and since then, he has spent six months with Mercy Ships in Cameroon and two months in Senegal recently.
The ActewAGL electrician has been exposed to various challenged before but never those he found on the ship.
“I loved the electrical and engineering team I served with and the challenge of learning to be a ship’s electrician,” he says.
“I think all services on the ship are invaluable and electrician is no different in that respect.”
Bobby also had the opportunity to mentor a local Cameroonian electrical apprentice named Denise.
“She has a rare opportunity to become a qualified professional in a country that favours men in such roles.
“She pours her gratitude into her work and her ongoing passion is an example to me of how much our presence means to the people of West Africa.”
Bobby explains that, at a young age, he had a very rare caner that took 18 months and multiple treatments to cure.
“If it wasn’t for the love of my family and the skill and devotion of the medical teams, I would not be alive today.”
He mentions that he aims to do anything he can to make a difference to those in need.
“I love that Mercy Ships is devoted to people who live in Africa and fixing people with broken bodies.
“I have no medical skills myself but using my skills to keep the hospital ship functioning so that others can do that work is a tremendous honour.”
The Africa Mercy docks and visits each African port for 10 months and provides thousands of life-changing surgeries on-board, treats thousands more at a land-based dental clinic and also tries to train local medical professionals.
“I don’t know much about the specifics of these countries but what I do know is that there are a lot of people with limited or no access to affordable health care.
“That is until the Africa Mercy showed up.”