Piracy continues to threaten the lives of seafarers.
So much is being said about the threat that piracy poses to international security, trade and the global economy. Far too little is being done for the seafarers who are the immediate victims of piracy.
Douglas Stevenson from the Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and New Jersey writes:
“…piracy represents a crime against humanity. It is condemned by the international community of nations and any nation has jurisdiction to bring pirates to justice.”
What can you do in support of seafarers who have been traumatized by piracy?
In 2008, ICMA members were encouraged by the ICMA Annual General Meeting held in Hong Kong to voice our concern for the victims of piracy. Be sure to look again at the resolution of the ICMA-AGM on this issue.
The Secretary General of the United Nations has cited ICMA’s resolution on piracy in a report to the General Assembly of the United Nations Organisation.
ICMA chairman, Douglas B. Stevenson, addressed the Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea last June at UN Headquarters in New York. Douglas Stevenson called attention to the need to provide for seafarers who have been affected by piracy. He highlighted the ICMA resolution in his speech, and provided copies to the delegates and the UN Secretariat.
The Nederlandse Zeemancentrale (NZC), the Dutch founder-member of ICMA, has again hosted the Seafarers’ Ministry Training in Rotterdam. Revd Helene Perfors of NZC (Rotterdam) and Pastorin Heike Spiegelberg from the Deutsche Seemannsmission (Hamburg) headed the team of experts and professionals who trained ICMA’s newly appointed chaplains.
SMT is an annual event. The training is managed by two teams, one based in Rotterdam and the other in Hong Kong. The venue of the SMT alternates between the two cities, and has recently also moved to other parts of the world to enable more chaplains to attend.
The training follows the terms of reference set by ICMA, and offers its students presentations on prescribed themes delivered by expert resource persons.
The students were a multi-cultural and ecumenical group. There were four students from Africa, four from South America, one was from Bangladesh, another from the UAE, and four from Europe. The attendance of students from developing countries was made possible by a grant received from the International Transport Workers Federation Seafarers’ Trust.
In 2010 the SMT is set to be presented in Cape Town, South Africa.
Port chaplains who are employed by ICMA member societies and who have no more than 18 months’ experience of seafarers’ ministry may be considered to participate in the SMT programme. Applications for inclusion in the programme are awaited from March every year. Each application must be endorsed by the management of the employing society.
ICMA prides itself on its professional faith-based care to seafarers. We have been raising the quality of care to seafarers for the past forty years. We believe that training and education enhance the professionalism of face-to-face welfare provision. Therefore ICMA’s education policy and training products are currently under review. The Consultative Forum to be held at the end of October is set to consider proposals for reform of ICMA’s education policy. The Consultative Forum and Annual General Meeting of ICMA is planned, God willing, for the last week of October.
For more information on ICMA’s training programmes click here
The General Secretary of ICMA, Rev Hennie la Grange, invites the managers of seafarers’ centres to participate in a joint initiative with the ITF Seafarers’ Trust
For many years the seafarers’ welfare sector concentrated on providing facilities to meet the needs of seafarers. Seafarers’ centres were safe havens of hospitality, conveniently providing both services and care in one place. They were designed to be ‘homes from home’ for itinerant seafarers. The International Christian Maritime Association is proud to have been associated with this commitment to excellence in care-giving.
ICMA acknowledges that the seafarers’ welfare sector is an evolving environment. One of the challenges to the sector is the growing reluctance of traditional funders to invest in new centres. At the same time, it is increasingly difficult to maintain existing centres and sustain services. The bottom line is this: seafarers’ centres are expensive. Recently several centres have closed or are at risk.
The Consultative Forum, ICMA’s annual consultation with its members, sub-committees, program heads and regional coordinators, discussed various topics on the theme of professionalism in faith-based care.
Representatives from several of the world’s seafarers’ centres gathered in Hong Kong.
ICMA invited these centres to workshop the crucial factors and best practice that make seafarers’ centres successful. It was hoped that the outcome of the workshop would be a toolkit for all seafarers’ centres. A set of instruments, documents and a narrative report of the workshop will soon be published on the ICMA website.
The two seafarers’ centres in Hong Kong co-hosted the workshop. Delegates were accommodated at the Mission to Seafarers’ Mariners Club in Hong Kong, and were treated to the hospitality of Reverends Martina Platte and Peter Ellis.
The ITF Seafarers’ Trust made the workshop possible with a generous grant, and assisted by allowing Roy Paul to co-present the event.
The newly designed ICMA ties and scarves are now available.
ICMA Chairman, Douglas B Stevenson, and the Reverend Heike Proske model the new scarf and tie on the photograph.
The new tie and scarf was developed as a result of the 2008-Consultative Forum’s request that the ICMA brand should be promoted.
Douglas Stevenson took the initiative. A New York based designer, Holly Stevenson, designed the new livery. Reverend Sakari Lehmuskallio helped to develop the final product, and Reverend Martina Platte assisted in production.
The new tie and scarf will be available at all ICMA events at 10 Euro each.