GBA Ships, an international maritime charity based in Germany, has launched its new ship, Doulos Hope, following completion of the vessel’s technical refit and outfitting. Doulos Hope is the fifth vessel in GBA Ships’ fleet and will promote literacy, education and cross-cultural cooperation across Southeast Asia.

Doulos Hope has a length of 85.5 metres and a width of 14 metres, with a gross tonnage of 3370 and a maximum speed of 13.5 knots. The vessel is the first of a planned fleet designed to reach new regions and operate in shallower waters, so that isolated and marginalised communities further inland can be reached.

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Aid and community care

‘We have been supporting local communities from over 150 countries and territories since 1970, making more than 1500 ports of call in that time,’ says Seelan Govender, CEO of GBA Ships. ‘Doulos Hope represents not just a new vessel, but a new opportunity to expand our work and increase our ability to invest in leadership training and holistic community engagement worldwide.’

Since GBA Ships’ formation, over 49 million people have been welcomed on board their vessels, including more than 11 million children, with approximately 10,000 young people trained on board for future life and service. Hundreds of tonnes of books have been donated, including some from Doulos Hope’s sister ship, Logos Hope, with the world’s largest floating bookfair.

The vessel will primarily travel around Southeast Asia, staying in ports for longer periods to enable greater community engagement. Like Logos Hope, Doulos Hope will be fitted with a floating bookfair, and ship teams will go into surrounding areas to provide aid and community care, partnering with local community groups to share hope with people, regardless of their circumstances, culture or background.