14 February 2006
Three hundred volunteers from more than 40 countries are offering help to Bahrain's charities and civic organizations when they arrive here next month.
Volunteers from the world's largest floating bookshop are looking for small projects to get involved in during their 12-day visit to the country.
Volunteers from the German-based Doulos vessel plan to undertake community service initiatives, offering skilled tradesmen such as plumbers, electricians and welders, while others plan to visit orphanages and prisons.
Project co-ordinator Cinzia Pirozzi said the ship's volunteers were vastly experienced and had been involved in several building projects in Asia after the tsunami.
"The people that joined the ship are on board for a two-year training programme and it gives them the vision to spread knowledge, help and hope," she said. "We all share the same desire to try and do something for the community, either in a small or big way."
The Doulos, recognised as the world's oldest ocean-going passenger ship, will dock at the Mina Salman port from 1 March.
The 130-metre ship, operated by the non-profit organisation Good Books for All, is run by a volunteer crew of 320 people from more than 40 countries.
It has been travelling the world for more than 27 years promoting knowledge, breaking down cultural barriers and increasing the understanding of other cultures.
It will also offer visitors a chance to read more than 6,000 titles covering many genres in English and Arabic as well as school trips, cultural events and an international music café. Anyone needing assistance with a project can call Ms Pirozzi on 36765547.