As one of a mere handful of southern-based international organisations, their roots are humble.
It all began in 1999, amidst a raging war in Kosova where thousands of lives were lost and suffering was widespread. Moved by the plight of countless innocent civilians, especially women and children, Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, a Malaysian obstetrician-gynaecologist, sought to offer her services voluntarily.
Finding no national organisation ready to support such international crises, together with a handful of like-minded friends, the Malaysian Medical Relief Society – better known today as MERCY Malaysia – was established. MERCY Malaysia aimed to provide a platform for Malaysians to unite and take their role in the international humanitarian arena.
Dr. Jemilah Mahmood led the first mission to Kosova in June of 1999. Several missions followed and teams were made up of Malaysians from all walks of life with the single goal of helping others, regardless of race, religion, culture or boundary.
Over the last decade, the organisation has blossomed with teams sent to disaster-stricken zones and programmes rolled out in various countries and in different disasters. As a registered society under the Societies Act, MERCY Malaysia has over 500 members and is supported by approximately 5,000 registered volunteers to date.