KUCHING: Volunteers of Logos Hope who come from different nations and cultures are “ordinary people with willing hands and hearts”, said Logos Hope director Gian Walser at the launch of the world’s largest floating book fair at Sim Kheng Hong Port in Pending here yesterday.
Walser said they wanted to show God’s love by helping and reaching out to the various communities across the globe.
“Acquiring knowledge is the foundation to success, stability and a better life. We want to enhance people’s education, growth and learning by helping them in many ways,” he said.
Walser added that volunteers of 50 different nationalities on board sought to understand and respect one another and to work closely to bring knowledge, help and hope to others.
Minister of Land Development Tan Sri Dr James Masing, who officiated at the launch, commended the crew and staff for bringing hope and education to the underprivileged.
He believed that Kuchingites and Sarawakians at large would appreciate the rich selection of over 5,000 reading materials available on the ship.
“Definitely I’m bringing my kids around as I know Logos Hope will be here for two weeks or so. We do have libraries here but not as big and floating as this,” said the Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president.
Masing also appealed to the ship volunteers that hail from over 40 countries to visit some of the tourist attractions in the city.
“There is a longhouse not far from here and I believe you all can get an experience of what it is like to stay here.”
He informed the crew that there were 26 different languages used in the state while calling on volunteers to pick up at least one during their stay here.
“It is nice to learn at least one language here. Maybe English, Bahasa or even Bidayuh, which comes with three to four dialects,” he added.
Captain of Logos Hope Chris Hughes, who has been at sea for over four decades, said he looked forward to visiting places here.
“This is the first time I’m in Kuching and I learn that the food here is very different from that in West Malaysia,” he said, adding that he would try out some local delicacies.
Logos Hope has been to Penang and Port Klang and will head to Kota Kinabalu after Kuching.
The ship opens from 10am to 10pm Monday-Saturday, and from 1pm to 10pm on Sundays until Nov 13. It will be closed on Oct 31 and Nov 8 to enable the crew to go on excursion trips around the city.
Logos Hope is operated by GBA Ship e.V, an international charitable organisation registered in Germany.
The organisation, in almost 40 years of service, has welcomed 40 million visitors up the gangways in over 160 countries and territories around the world.
Among those present was Assistant Minister of Public Health Dr Jerip Susil.