Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Mercy Misson a Porthole into Life of Poverty

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Mercy Misson a Porthole into Life of Poverty

Article excerpt

DESPERATELY poor West African country Benin has provided retired Caloundra nurse Laurel Dixon with a porthole into a aforgottena world and left her with unforgettable memories.

Ms Dixon, 63, recently spent nine weeks in the small country that borders Nigeria while working aboard the Africa Mercy, the world's largest charity hospital ship.

Back on the Sunshine Coast, the widower said the experience opened her eyes to how removed Australians were to the abject poverty much of the world lived in.

Ms Dixon, a retired registered nurse, served as a hospitality hostess on the ship as it docked at Cotonou, the country's largest city.

She knew from the firs t day that she was in for a memorable experience. "This certainly feels like a remote and forgotten part of the world, isolated from most things familiar," she wrote in the Mercy Ships' newsletter upon arriving at Benin, one of the poorest countries in the world.

Mercy Ships is an international Christian charity, with its Australian support office located at Caloundra. …

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