MPHRP to continue Humanitarian Response

Maritime Piracy logoICMA 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.iswan

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’.

ICMA Partners for World Wide Vehicle SURVEY 2015

EMAILSurvey 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

DSM General Secretary meets with chaplains in Port of Antwerp

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!
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ICMA announces hybrid training program – Oct. – Nov. 2015!

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.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 2.00.28 PM (2)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
Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 2.02.04 PM (2)– 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, gensec@icma.as

Course fee:
325GBP (480EUR) – includes tuition, breaks/lunches, select dinners and excursions
(financial aid will be available for travel or hotel for those in need)

More information on accommodation and specific schedule to follow.

Winners of the 2015 International Seafarers’ Welfare Awards Announced

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.

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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.

Seafarer Welfare Organisations Call for Urgent Action on Rescue of Migrants at Sea

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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.

ENDS

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 gensec@icma.as

IMHA – Dr Alf-Magne Horneland alf.magne.horneland@helse-bergen.no

ISWAN – Roger Harris roger.harris@iswan.org.uk

Statement by German Seemannsmission concerning Mediterranean Migration Crisis

Stellungnahme der

Mitgliederversammlung der Deutschen Seemannsmission e.V.

24.04.2015

Nie mehr über Kinderrucksäcke fahren

In der täglichen Arbeit begegnen den Mitarbeitenden der Deutschen Seemannsmission immer wieder Seeleute, die durch die Flüchtlingstragödien im Mittelmeer besonders belastet sind.

Die Mitgliederversammlung der Deutschen Seemannsmission fordert, die aktuelle Flüchtlingsproblematik im Mittelmeer nicht auf dem Rücken der Seeleute auszutragen.

Besatzungsmitglieder berichten von persönlichen Habseligkeiten und Leichen, die im Mittelmeer treiben. Immer wieder müssen sie Menschen von Flüchtlingsbooten bergen. Das ist für Seeleute eine selbstverständliche humanitäre Aufgabe. Sie werden meist beim Umgang mit diesen belastenden Erlebnissen und deren Verarbeitung alleine gelassen.

Inzwischen haben Seeleute der Handelsschifffahrt schon mehr als 5000 Flüchtlinge gerettet.

Die DSM fordert: „Seht, was die Seeleute im Mittelmeer tun!“ Viel zu oft werden sie mit unvorstellbaren Erlebnissen konfrontiert. Kaum einer nimmt das wahr. Ein Seemann sagte zu einer Mitarbeiterin der DSM: “Ich möchte nie mehr mit meinem Schiff über Kinderrucksäcke fahren müssen.“

Seeleute und die DSM stellen die Frage, warum bis zum heutigen Tag keine adäquate Antwort der Politik zur Todesfalle Mittelmeer gefunden wurde.

Verantwortlich:

Heike Proske

Generalsekretärin der DSM

heike.proske@seemannsmission.org