We partner with local authorities and go by invitation only, developing long term and sustainable partnerships.
We provide free medical care
We sail to isolated places, set up clinics ashore, and conduct surgeries on board for free.
100% of our staff are volunteers
From our founder to our janitor, our staff does not get a salary but raise their own support through their circle of influence.
YWAM Ships Aotearoa (YSA) is motivated by the foundational belief that every individual has a purpose, is valuable and deserves access to the necessities of life: basic healthcare, shelter, clean water and education.
The purpose of YSA is to empower a healthy future for isolated island communities. We believe that we can improve the future for our Pacific neighbours. It is our obligation to act today.
Through the use of a specifically equipped medical aid ship, in partnership with Pacific governments, YSA offers free health and healing services to isolated communities throughout the liquid-continent of the Pacific. We go where planes and cars cannot.
YSA was incorporated in 2016 in order to operate a 1,753 gross ton vessel, previously called the MV ASTROLABE, since renamed MV YWAM LIBERTY.
In 2017, a base of operation opened in New Zealand. This enabled a pathway for New Zealanders to serve with the ship in a variety of positions including marine, medical and general volunteers.
In March of 2019, a 48m ship was gifted to YSA. The German-built vessel, formerly the MVCLAYMORE II, spent the previous decade carrying passengers and supplies to the Pitcairn Islands. The vessel was renamed MV YWAM KOHA. The KOHA is currently being repurposed to serve as a medical ship.
YWAM (pronounced Y-Wham) or Youth with a Mission, is a global movement of Christians from many cultures, age groups, and traditions, dedicated to living out their faith practically throughout the world. Koha is a Māori word translated “gift.” The ship was a gift to YSA and it will be a gift to the Pacific Islands.
The Christian ethos of YWAM informs us, undergirds our value system, and motivates us in all areas. Alongside YWAM’s 18 foundational values, YSA is strongly influenced by many of the beautiful concepts that sit within tikanga Māori. The following four Māori concepts influence the culture, policies and procedures of all we do:
Kotahitanga - YSA values symbiotic partnerships that add worth to all parties. We believe that we are stronger together and seek to work with like-minded individuals and organisations to empower health throughout the Pacific.
Whakapapa - We all have our own unique whakapapa - the people to whom we are connected in the past, present and future. We believe our genealogyis both a connection and an obligation, to honour those who came before us and pave the way for those to come. Our time is limited. What we leave behind is our contribution woven into the lives of others. This is our legacy.
Kaitiakitanga - Sustainability and concern for the environment are non-negotiable for us. Because the future is silent, we take on the role of guardians for our place and our planet. As stewards (kaitiaki) for the future, we feel it is our obligation to both protect and maximize the value of all-natural resources, for the well-being of future generations.
He Tāngata - He aha te mea nui o te ao - What is the most important thing in the world?He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata - It is people, it is people, it is people.For YSA, it is all about people. We believe that we have a duty to care for all people, those closest to us, our communities and nation. But we also believe we have an obligation to care for the nations that exist on our front door. We are driven by a vision to help and to empower them to live a thriving and healthy life.
Check out stories and updates from our teams, and vessels.
Youth With A Mission is a global movement of Christians from many cultures, age groups, and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world. Also known as YWAM (pronounced “WHY-wham”), we unite in a common purpose to know God and to make Him known.
Back when we began in 1960, our main focus was to get youth involved in missions. Today, we still focus on youth, and we also involve people aged 9 to 90. We currently have tens of thousands of staff (called “YWAMers”) and we work in thousands of teams and locations.
One of the joys of participating in YWAM is to work with people from many nations. YWAM’s staff come from nearly every country in the world, including places like Indonesia, Nepal, Mozambique, and Colombia.