Logos Hope, the world's largest floating book fair has berthed at the Tema Port to begin a 38-day visit to Ghana.
Tema has been a familiar port of call for the organisation’s vessels. With a crew and staff of approximately 400 Christian volunteers from 60 nations, the vessel docked at Clinker Ghacem Gate to begin the 38-day book fair in Tema.
The onboard book fair – a selection of over 5,000 quality different book titles at affordable prices – covers a wide range of subjects including science, sports, hobbies, cookery, arts, medicine, languages and philosophy with children's titles, academic texts, dictionaries, atlases among others.
Speaking at the official opening of the fair in Tema, the Managing Director, Logos Hope, Mr Randy Grede, expressed his excitement about their return to Ghana six years after their last visit.
He expressed appreciation to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for granting the vessel permission to dock in Ghana, the first passenger vessel to do so since 2019 post COVID-19.
He recalled with excitement previous visits of Logos Hope to Ghana in 2010 and 2016 and indicated that they were determined to pursue their vision to improve the lives of Ghanaians through the missionary and charity works they engage in.
He stated that the aim of the visit was to give hope to people through missionary works, saying that “We are determined to bring knowledge, help and hope to wherever we visit in this world”.
“We have the largest floating book fair in the world. We have thousands of titles, there is something for everyone who visits the ship but we are way more than that. We are not just about books; we are really about building relationships”, he said.
Mr Grede said the return of Logos Hope to Ghana was aimed at sharing hope, promoting peace, building a better future for children and knowledge, adding that, while in Ghana, the international crew on board the vessel would embark on community help initiatives such as renovation of a CHPS Compound at “U” Kpotame as well as setting up of a community library for the people in the Tema metropolis.
He said the volunteers would also embark on trainings for selected people on the effects of child and human trafficking.
MV Logos Hope is operated by Good Books for All, (GBA) e,V Ships, an international charitable organisation registered in Germany. Since 1970, the organisation has operated four ships, namely, Logos, Doulos, Logus II and the current vessel, Logos Hope.
According to the Managing Director of Logos Hope, the organisation had operated four ships and had a long standing history with Ghana. He said the first ship, Logos’s initial voyage to Ghana was in 1977 and since then, the organisation had visited Ghana 17 times with the four different ships and this recent visit was the third to be embarked on by the Logos Hope.
He said so far, cumulatively, their ships had spent over 373 days in Ghana over the years and had welcomed over 1.108 million visitors up the gangways throughout its stay in Ghana.
Mr Grede urged the public to visit the world's largest floating book fair, which is now open to the public from Tuesdays – Sundays until February 27, 2022.
He said all COVID-19 safety protocols would be followed and visitors must show proof of vaccination upon entry for persons 18 years and above.
The Metropolitan Chief Executive for Tema, Mr Yohane Amarh Ashitey, who launched the book fair, urged Ghanaians to take advantage of the visit to enrich their knowledge by their visit to the ship to find suitable books to read.
He narrated his first encounter with Logos II, which visited the Tema Port in the 1990s and said that encounter and exposure to books made an impact on his life and urged the public to be serious with books with a visit to the Logos
Hope, stressing that investing in human capital builds a nation.
The Founder and President of the Worldwide Miracle Outreach, Dr Lawrence Tetteh, who was a guest on the vessel, in an interview urged the Ghanaian youth to emulate the over 400 volunteers from various nationalities on board the Logos Hope, by cultivating the habit of volunteerism to help change society and make a difference in the lives of people in their communities.
The captain of the vessel, Captain James Berry, expressed appreciation to the government and the people of Ghana for the special permission to allow a passenger ship to dock in Ghana in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. He urged visitors to the book fair to establish long lasting friendships with the crew onboard the vessel, stressing that there was more to offer than just the sale of books.
He said Ghana was noted for her warm hospitality and the crew appreciated their time in the country.
MV Logos Hope will depart Tema on February 28, 2022. The vessel was in the Port of Takoradi December 21, 2021 to January 19, this year.