Project HOPE History

The history of the Project HOPE can be traced back to the Second World War. Dr. William B. Walsh, a medical officer on board was also a destroyer at the time of war. Walsh traveled numerous places including the South-Pacific region wherein he was stirred by the pathetic health conditions. He was terribly upset to see the suffering and deaths of children due to inadequate medical knowledge among the people.

It was the lack of basic medical knowledge and its application which resulted in many those deaths. These sufferings led him to envision a mobile medical centre (floating hospital over water) which will educate people about various diseases and provide adequate medical care to the needy. A U.S. Navy hospital ship was donated to Dr. Walsh by the U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the year 1958.

He started his mission with only $150, as it was his dream and support of friends and corporations which kept him going. The birth of the organization 'Project HOPE' took place in that ship which was renamed as the SS HOPE.

This mobile hospital saw a major overhaul during the next 2 years and was equipped to serve people better. Various nurses, doctors, and technologists were called on to share their own knowledge and skills in creating heath care awareness among the developing nations. Teaching with healing became the motto and every American aboard was required to teach simple medical knowledge and skills to his/her counterpart.

It was on September 22, 1960 that the ship started sailing for its first mission from San Francisco to Indonesia. However, it had to stop its operations in the year 1974. Soon after, the Project HOPE transformed into a land-based organization with the same spirit of helping people with medical knowledge and humanitarian assistance. The Project HOPE continues to deliver their volunteers and donations in various countries.


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