The momentum is building this month for the gathering with ICMA and NAMMA at Montreal September 29th-October 2nd 2015.
As the General Secretary opened the proceedings of the recent ICMA Executive Committee meeting in August we committed our work together at Montreal in prayer : “. . . .let us pray for our time in this meeting and for all the preparations for our Montreal gathering, for the spirit of adventure, discovery and for safe passage and arrival, for success in all we do in the name of International Christian Maritime Association, and especially for the work of those who serve in ports to meet seafarers, and for all at sea in ships in all kinds of conditions, for their wellbeing, their safety, and their families. In Christ’s name. AMEN
Dr Jason Zuidema Executive Director of NAMMA reports that a hundred people have registered so far for the event, and ICMA will be welcoming some 12 of their 28 member organizations to be represented at the ICMA Annual Meeting Thursday October 1st at 15:00 hrs. at the Conference Venue ; Hotel Zero 1, 1 René-Lévesque Est (East) Montreal, Quebec, H2X 3Z5
ICMA members’ representation 2015:
– Apostleship of the Sea
– Christian Seamen’s Organisation
– Deutsche Seemannsmission
– Mission to Seafarers
– Nederlandse Zeemanscentrale
– Seemannsmission der Nordkirche
– PCT Seamen’s/Fishermen’s Service Center Taiwan
– Sailors’ Society
– Seamen’s Church Institute of New York & New Jersey
– Stichting Pastoraat Werkers Overzee
– Suomen Merimieskirkko
The meeting will bring many partners in seafarers welfare together with us to share the programme for the week. Significant topics of concern are discussed and our networks are reinforced for the wellbeing of seafarers worldwide. Our partners and contributors here include Seafarers UK, Merchant Navy Welfare Board, ISWAN, ITF Seafarers’ Trust, ITF/SIU, Lutheran Advocates for Maritime Mission, Port Ministries International, AOS-USA and more.
NOTE TO ICMA MEMBERS AND REPRESENTATIVES : Papers and Agenda/Reports for the Annual General Meeting have been emailed already to organizations. This year we are offering for those unable to travel to Montreal to join us on Thursday 1st October by video-conference link. If an organization can provide representation and want link information; then members are asked to email the General Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org in advance and we can send details as soon as they are available.
Richard Kilgour. General Secretary
ICMA welcomes the continuing commitment of all concerned in organising for the humanitarian response to the impact of piracy around the oceans of the world. From August 4th. in the UK – the boards of the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) are pleased to announce the moving of the activities of the MPHRP into ISWAN. A transfer agreement was signed by both parties on 3 August 2015. ISWAN will now be responsible for all the activities of the highly respected MPHRP.
In the PRESS RELEASE this week Roger Harris of ISWAN said ‘The move to ISWAN will enable the programme to develop under the auspices of a well-established international seafarers’ welfare organisation that is registered as a charity’.
ISWAN told us this week that ‘the programme will continue to support the seafarers and their families who are affected by piracy. While piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia have significantly decreased, attacks are on the increase in South East Asia and continuing in the Gulf of Guinea. The MPHRP programme will concentrate on these areas while still supporting seafarers who were held for years in Somalia. The programme will seek to develop constructive and positive relationships with existing and new industry partners.’
ISWAN has already appointed a new programme manager, Mr Tom Holmer, to lead the MPHRP in this new phase of its development. The programme in South Asia will continue while an immediate priority will be to secure funding to continue the programme in South East Asia and Eastern Europe.
Richard Kilgour: ICMA General Secretary said ‘the need for the humanitarian response to piracy is as vital as ever. We welcome this development in securing a base for MPHRP to continue to build upon this important work’.
Survey starts today from ICMA and NAMMA with email call for help to centers worldwide. The ITF Seafarers’ Trust – which often pays for vehicles for seafarers’ welfare bodies and missions – has announced it will be surveying vehicle use and effectiveness so as to use its grants as effectively as possible. The Trust will be partnering in the program between now and mid-September with ICMA, and through the contact network of The North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA).
The Rev. Richard Kilgour, General Secretary of ICMA, said that ‘we support the gathering of information in this way for planning years ahead to target funds to best effect for vehicle replacement. That ICMA has been asked to help with data gathering is another example of how we are partners in this work.” The Seafarers Trust has provided over GPB 2.5 Mil for this purpose over the last 34 years. This survey program will provide up to date information that will help make grant-giving in the future more fair and equitable to the service providers.
Dr. Jason Zuidema, Executive Director of NAMMA, called attention to this project’s importance: “Those seeking excellence in seafarers’ welfare know that partnerships are important. Collaborating on this project is not just practical, but it again celebrates the beautiful connection that members in local ports have with the Seafarers’ Trust.”
Richard Kilgour. General Secretary ICMA
Recently the ecumenical chaplain group in the Port of Antwerp met with Heike Proske, General Secretary of the Deutsche Seemannsmission. A great time of sharing and encouragement!
From left: Oole Posselt (Welfare Work – Harbor Hotel Antwerp), Jos Vanhof (AoS), Dorothèe Kubiziel (volunteer DSM), Marc Schippers (Sailors Soc), Jörg Pfautsch (DSM), Heike Proske (DSM), Gérard Favre (volunteer AoS), Paul Wilms (volunteer DSM).
Missing from the photo (taken 23 June 2015): Jorgedi Bago (AoS, is taking the photo), Brian Milsson (MtS), Ulf Radziejewski (Swedish Seamenschurch), Jesper Ek (Swedish Seamen`s Service).
Good to see the ICMA network in action!
ICMA is pleased to announce a new concept ‘hybrid’ Introduction to Seafarers’ Welfare and Maritime Ministry program that pairs dynamic online features and high-quality in-class sessions. Running for six weeks online (beginning October to mid-November) and on-site (Nov. 4-11 in Gdynia, Poland), this training brings together tools and teachers that will help equip new chaplains and ship visitors for success in their work. The course will also feature a number of key partners, including recognized leaders in the field of seafarers’ welfare.
A full course syllabus can be found here: Training Syllabus 2015.
Some of the features of the course:
– a dedicated course website that brings together all class material and program information
– online training will feature multi-media experiences that showcase ‘live’ webinars (also recorded for those who cannot participate directly), other dynamic recorded lessons from maritime welfare professionals, and links to the best of seafarers’ welfare writing or resources on the web
– in-class sessions located in the historic maritime college of Gdynia, Poland – during the in-class sessions participants will have opportunity to visit the port and learn about local maritime traditions
– practical teaching that corresponds to a wide range of learning styles in areas touching the maritime world, how to cultivate partnerships for seafarers’ welfare, how to communicate with seafarers, out to build the capacity of your ministry and strategies for success in ship visiting.
– online discussions, quizzes and a final reflection essay
For more information on registration, please contact the Rev. Richard Kilgour, email@example.com
– 325GBP (480EUR) – includes tuition, breaks/lunches, select dinners and excursions
(financial aid will be available for travel or hotel for those in need)
The winners of the 2015 International Seafarers’ Welfare Awards were announced on Tuesday 9th June during a high profile ceremony hosted by Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization, Mr Koji Sekimizu at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London.
The winners are:
• Judges Special Award : Rev’d Ken Peters, Mission to Seafarers Director of Justice and Public Affairs
• Judges’ Posthumous Award: Mr Paul Karras, founder of Hunterlink Recovery Services
• Shipping Company of the Year: Eidesvik
• Port of the Year: Port of Halifax, Canada
• Seafarer Centre of the Year: Seafarers’ Centre Bremerhaven
• Dr Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year Award (organisation): National Union of Seafarers of India
• Dr Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year Award (individual): Chirag Bahri (MPHRP)
The Welfare Personality of the Year Award is named after Dr Dierk Lindemann who sadly passed away on 17 March 2014. Dr Lindemann served as the Shipowner’s Group spokesperson at the ILO and took a lead role in getting the Maritime Labour Convention adopted.
Congratulations to all winners and nominees!
For more information and photos, check out the ISWAN website.
Press Release – for immediate release
14 March 2015
Three leading international seafarers’ welfare organisations, the International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA), the International Maritime Health Association (IMHA), and the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN), are today calling on EU governments to recognise the key role of seafarers in the rescue of migrants at sea. They have sent a letter to all heads of governments urgently requesting that more resources are mobilised for search and rescue in the Mediterranean.
In the last seventeen months over 5,000 migrants have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Fortunately, merchant seafarers are responsible for saving tens of thousands of more lives. In 2014 seafarers aboard 800 merchant ships rescued 40,000 migrants. Their role in the large scale rescue of migrants should be recognised and commended.
However, EU governments are still relying on the kindness of seafarers and the legal obligations upon them to cope with a human tragedy of an unprecedented scale instead of committing sufficient resources to save migrants’ lives. Merchant ships and crews are not equipped or trained to deal with large scale rescues.
Seafarers are often risking their own safety and security in these large scale rescues. They are also facing situations such as recovering bodies and dealing with sick or injured men, women, and children that may have an effect on them for which they may need counselling or other forms of support. Seafarers are no substitute for professionally trained search and rescue personnel and they must not be used by EU governments as an expedient way of ignoring a difficult problem on the doorstep of Europe.
The three organisations have called for the EU governments to take urgent action to commit more resources to saving lives in the Mediterranean and not to place merchant seafarers in an unenviable situation.
A copy of the letter can be downloaded from here (Press release migrants at sea).
Notes to editors
The International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA) is a free association of 28 Christian not-for-profit organisations working for the welfare of seafarers. www.icma.as
The International Maritime Health Association (IMHA) is the sole international association concerned exclusively with Maritime Health www.imha.net
The International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) promotes the welfare of seafarers world. www.seafarerswelfare.org
Contact details :
ICMA – Revd Richard Kilgour firstname.lastname@example.org
IMHA – Dr Alf-Magne Horneland email@example.com
ISWAN – Roger Harris firstname.lastname@example.org