Category Archives: News

ITF Seafarers’ Trust launches Shore Leave app 3.0

posterThe ITF Seafarers’ Trust is excited to launch the new version of Shore Leave, an app designed for seafarers. This time all of the seafarers’ centres listed in the app can be involved, and it needs your help to make this successful.

The aim of the new version of Shore Leave is to encourage more seafarers to visit the centres you run and to have more fun using the app. To do so, the app has implemented a raffle system using QR codes. Each Seafarers’ Centre listed in the app is allocated a specific QR code for its centre/location. Seafarers that visit the centre will scan the QR code with the App and receive an electronic raffle ticket to take part in our raffle. Every 4 months the raffle winner will be selected from all of the entrants and a new raffle will start. The first winner will get an IPad.

The app implements a map system as well. Seafarers can either use the maps while they are online or download and use them offline. Seafarers will be able to post pins on the map about places of interest so that other seafarers using the app will see the recommendations from others that have already visited that particular port or city. They can pin down sport facilities, good bars, bus stop etc.

Moreover, the app added some customization options. It is now possible to upload a profile photo and keep track of carrier on board, adding the name of the ship seafarers are sailing with, ranks and where and when they sign on or off.

Shore Leave was first launched in 2014, the very first app specifically developed for seafarers. The idea was to collect seafarers’ centres contact details in an app, knowing that most seafarers cannot rely on an internet connection. The app, once downloaded, was and still is functioning offline. All the contacts are stored in seafarers’ phones and easily accessible at any time, so that they can always call for a bus to give them a ride to the seafarers’ centre, mall or nearby city.

Once again we hope that seafarers can get the most out of their Shore Leave.

 

ICMA Northern Europe Regional Conference, 9-12 October 2017 in Tallinn

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The ICMA Northern Europe Regional conference took place in Tallinn, Estonia from October 9-12.  Hosted by the Estonian Seamen’s Mission in Muuga port, the meeting took place at the convention centre of the historic Bridgettine Convent in Pirita in the outskirts of Tallinn.

On the first evening we were welcomed at the Seamen’s Mission in Muuga.  Opening worship in the beautiful chapel was followed by a delicious dinner.  Thank you to Eeric Jõks, Natalia Trummer, Herki Talen, and the rest of the team for the warm welcome.

Conference speakers on the following days included Douglas Stevenson of SCI New York, Rev. Matthias Ristau, Rev. Wolfgang Pautz-Wilhelm, and ICMA General Secretary, Dr. Jason Zuidema.

Highlights of the program included an excursion for a refreshing nature hike in a protected Estonian bog, visit to an old manor house and restaurant for authentic local cuisine, and a visit to a one-of-a-kind private maritime museum and chapel in the historic ship-building town of Käsmu.

At the conclusion of the conference, Rev. Matthias Ristau was chosen as the new regional coordinator.  All expressed thanks to Rev. Wolfgang Pautz-Wilhelm, the outgoing regional coordinator, for having planned a lovely and useful program in Estonia.

Matthias Ristau encouraged all the participants to remain in contact with each other: “Remember that we are ICMA.  If we have events in our ports or news that could be of interest to each other, please let the others know.  It is good to stay in touch.”

ICMA General Secretary, Jason Zuidema, remarked that “this regional conference was a great opportunity for encouraging and networking.  When we are together we learn from each other and can do the work better in our own local ports.”

Participants and friends are encouraged to like and share the new regional Facebook page found at:  https://www.facebook.com/ICMANorthernEurope/

 

 

International Seafarers’ Centre The Bridge; location Oostvoorne open!

Friday, October 7th, the International Seafarers’ Centre, location Oostvoorne (ISC-LCO) has been opened with great interest.

(Read full story with photos here.)

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Invitees at reception
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The official opening: Mrs. Gruisen, René de Vries, Bernt de Koning, and Paméla Blok–van Werkhoven.

Numerous invitees gathered at the end of the afternoon at Cultural Centre ‘De Man’ to attend the opening of the brand new seafarers’ centre. In this townhouse the foundation has a foyer and their own room at their disposal. There is also a separate entrance to several rooms that can be rented for receptions and other activities.
Guests can use the non-commercial bar, the kitchenette, Wi-Fi and the parking. The last few weeks we have worked hard to furnish the basement of the building. With the collaboration of amongst others the town of Westvoorne, the contractor, the subcontractors and the suppliers we succeeded to get the centre ready for the official opening. The seafarers centre has their own bus – a donation of the foundation ‘Stichting Welzijn Zeevarenden Rotterdam’ – to transport the seafarers from and to the harbour.
The foundation of The Bridge has been made possible by the initiator Bernt de Koning, who as chairman of the foundation International Seafarers´Centre LCO, has spent the last four years to realize the seafarers’ centre. Thanks to the support during the start up phase of the Rotterdam Port Welfare Committee, port Authority of Rotterdam, town of Westvoorne and a group of different financiers he finally succeeded.
Last year a seafarers’ centre opened in Brielle, under the Danish flag, and together with the Flying Angels Club in Schiedam, we now have three centres to welcome the seafarers in and around the harbour of Rotterdam.
The opening ceremony took place at Cultural Centre De man. Mrs. Annie Gruisen, secretary of ISC-LCO, invited several speakers: Bernt de Koning who shortly told us about the history and foundation of the ISC-LCO; then alderman Mrs. Paméla Blok–van Werkhoven, harbour master of Rotterdam René de Vries, and chairman of the NZC, Mr. Hans Kapteijn.
With the exchange of several gifts and the making of a knot in an old fashioned hemp rope, the opening of the ISC-LCO was formally conducted.
Searching for volunteers. Since three weeks Edwin van Os together with 22 volunteers is managing The Bridge during 3 days a week. In these three weeks we have already welcomed 170 visitors. The target audience are the seafarers of ships that are in the harbour with an average of 55 hours; mainly bulk carriers and tank ships. The last few days people from several countries have visited us, including China, the Philippines, India, Georgia, Russia, Germany and Poland. They are all amazed when they enter our beautiful village Oostvoorne; so quiet and peaceful and all these nice people and houses! ‘Where is the super market and till what time can we go shopping?’ The first remarks and questions of the seafarers who sometimes didn’t see anything else for weeks then the horizon, the waves and a remote loading dock in Brazil.
To have the seafarers’ centre opened 7 days a week, instead of the 3 days now, we need about 40 volunteers, who all help out once a week from 16:00 till 22:00 hours. Volunteers who are interested in accompanying the seafarers are invited to contact the LCO Foundation, phone nr: 06-32274725.

For transport check out the website :
www.isc-thebridge.com or phone 0031-32274725

AHOY Course Manila

Photos of the course are available here.
A full copy of the program is available here.

Monday, 26th
– Philippines Port Authority
AOS Bishop Promoter of the Philippines – H.E. Bishop Narciso Villaver Abellana
Scalabrini International Migration Network – Fr. Mario Zambiasi
– Filipino History – Dr. Ricardo T. Jose
Filipino values and culture – Prof. Stella P. Go
– ICMA in the Filippines – AOS-Philippines, Mission to Seafarers, Sailors’ Society
Young Filipino men securing work and the future through ‘utility manning’ – Dr. Roderick Galam
Health and self-medication practices of Filipino seafarers – Dr. Nelson Turgo

Tuesday, 27th
– Filipino Catholic religiosity and beliefs (part 1 and part 2) – Fr. Mario Dominic C. Sanchez
– Other Filipino Churches / Faith Denominations – Dr. Manuel Victor J. Sapitula
– Overseas Filipino Workers – Romulo V. Salud

Wednesday, 28th
– Philippines: people of the sea – Fr. Graziano Battistella
Ecumenism in the maritime world – H.E. Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle
– ICMA Sessions
i. Stuart Rivers (Sailors’ Society) – “Disruptive Technology and A Vision for the Future of Maritime Ministry”
ii. Lance Lukin (MTS Regional Director Oceania Region/Wellington Port Chaplain & Seafarer Centre Manager) – “Support for Chaplaincy: Learning from other Chaplain Networks”
iii. Jason Zuidema (NAMMA) – “ICMA and Future of Maritime Ministry
iv. Heike Proske (DSM) – Managing and Motivating a Decentralized Team: Lessons from the DSM”

Friday, 30th
– Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers – Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” M. Angara
– Filipino seafarers, fishers, and their families – Ms. Rebecca J. Calzado
– Filipino seafarers and fishers on international waters – Mr. Hans Leo Cacdac
– Filipino seafarers and fishers in the global maritime industry – C/E Marcial C. Amaro III
– Labor concerns and legislative agenda for Filipino seafarers and fishers – Mr. Silvestre H. Bello, II
– Needs and issues of Filipino crew on board cruise ship

‘Luisteren naar zeevarenden zelf’ – Priority for Listening to Seafarers First at Cardiff Research Centre

Verslag bezoek SIRC Conferentie, Cardiff, 29-30 juni 2016. Luisteren naar zeevarenden zelf –

SIRC Symposium Cardiff, June 29-30   ‘Listening to the Seafarers Themselves’  (Rev Stefan Francke) see below for full ENGLISH report.

SIRC Symposium (Large)

Op 29-30 juni werd in Cardiff de 21ste verjaardag van het Seafarers International Research Centre (SIRC) gevierd met een symposium. Namens de ICMA mocht ik daarbij aanwezig zijn – samen met meer dan 80 afgevaardigden uit de maritieme industrie, gerelateerde organisaties en de wetenschappelijke wereld.

Het was allereerst goed om in de onderlinge ontmoetingen te ervaren dat de ICMA positieve associaties oproept. Het maritieme welzijnswerk heeft nog altijd een goede naam.

Op het symposium werden verschillende papers gepresenteerd met de resultaten van recent onderzoek. Als het gaat om factoren die het gebruik van “mandatory equipment” beïnvloeden – design, motivatie en training – blijken de ervaringen van zeevarenden zelf van groot belang. SIRC’s methode van etnografisch onderzoek, startend bij de leefwereld van de zeevarenden en vervolgens verbredend door middel van vragenlijsten, is zeer productief. Zoals ook een Oekraïense HWTK aangaf bij de opening van de conferentie: SIRC zorgt voor aanbevelingen die voortkomen uit de praktijk. Natuurlijk is de werkelijkheid ook dan vaak weerbarstiger en complexer dan je zou hopen – zo bleek uit de discussies die op de presentaties volgden.

De “menselijke factor” kwam ook naar voren bij andere onderwerpen op het symposium: ervaringen met verstekelingen, frustraties met havenpersoneel en de (soms) spanningsvolle relatie tussen schip en kantoor. Nuttig voor maritieme pastores om kennis van te nemen, omdat deze zaken in de gesprekken aan boord ongetwijfeld aan de orde zullen komen. Het is goed om oplettend te zijn op de aanwezigheid van menselijke drama’s, druk van buiten, corruptie, etc. etc.

SIRC en ICMA delen eenzelfde focus: de leefwereld aan boord. Beide bevinden we ons in goed international gezelschap. We hebben gemeenschappelijke belangen qua onderzoek. Het is belangrijk om deze verbondenheid te koesteren.

July 2016, Stefan Francke     (De powerpoints van de presentaties zijn te vinden op: http://www.sirc.cf.ac.uk/SS2016.aspx)

On June 29-30, the Seafarer’s International Research Centre (SIRC) celebrated its 21st. anniversary with a symposium in Cardiff (Wales). Rev. Stefan Francke of ICMA member: ‘Stichting Pastoraat Werkers Overzee, Netherlands’ Foundation Providing Pastoral Care for Workers in Dredging and Marine Construction attended on ICMA’s behalf. There were more than 80 representatives from maritime industry, related organizations and academic departments. Research methods and outcomes of research with seafarers were under discussion over two days. Alongside this Rev Francke reported that the symposium provided for many conversations between the sessions, especially in seeking positive connections for ICMA in the academic environment. Maritime welfare work maintains an important reputation in this context.

During the symposium, different papers were presented, showing the results of SIRC’s recent research. The primary focus of research are the experiences of seafarers themselves. Covering a range of topics and contexts including; use of mandatory equipment: design, motivation (“buy in”) and training. SIRC’s ethnographic method has been particularly productive, starting in the seafarer’s everyday environment and subsequently widening the scope with questionnaires. A Ukrainian Chief Engineer stated at the opening of the conference: SIRC provides “real life” recommendations. Relating complexity of the research to real life situations is a constant theme for engagement on these topics.

The “human factor” was evident across the programme of the symposium: including experiences with stowaways, frustrations with port personnel and the (sometimes) tense relationship between ship and office. Rev. Francke emphasized that for chaplains, these topics are most relevant, because they will come up in conversations on ships. Realising an awareness of human dramas, outside pressures, corruption, etc. is most important to engaging the seafarer.

SIRC and ICMA share the same focus: everyday life on board. A research organization like SIRC and ICMA are both are in good international company. We have common interests regarding research. We have to cherish this interconnection.
July 2016, Stefan Francke       The symposium powerpoint presentations can be found at: http://www.sirc.cf.ac.uk/SS2016.aspx

Richard Kilgour. General Secretary ICMA

IMO Day of the Seafarer 2016 – ISWAN Welfare Awards

25th of June is the official United Nations day of observance when we join with the International Maritime Organisation IMO in placing the ‘seafarers’ of the world upmost in our thoughts as the theme of the day this year highlights is ‘At Sea for All’. In his annual message for Day of the Seafarer, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “this year, on the Day of the Seafarer, we are once again asking people everywhere to show their appreciation for the seafarers that quietly, mostly unnoticed, keep the wheels of the world in motion”.

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Follow what the Secretary General says on this Youtube delivery for the ocassion.  Also at this time seafarer welfare services and especially those who work in centres and in visiting ships around the world are being honored in Manila in the Philippines as ISWAN stage their annual welfare awards with the Secretary General of IMO. Shortlist details have been provided by ISWAN who organise the annual event. Amongst those named are representatives of the broad membership of ICMA societies:

For Seafarers’ Centre of the Year (sponsored by Wrist Ship Supply): Stella Maris, Barcelona, Spain; MTS Busan, South Korea; Stella Maris, Mackay-Hay Point, Australia; Port Arthur International Seafarers Center, USA; MTS Townsville, Australia; MTS, Victoria- Australia

For The Dr Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year*; Organisation (sponsored by The International Chamber of Shipping):AMOSUP; Humans At Sea; Hunterlink

For The Dr Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year; Individual (sponsored by The International Chamber of Shipping):Pst Joseph Chacko (India); Howard Drysdale (UK); Rev Stephen Miller (East Asia); Maike Puchert (Germany); Fr Edward Pracz (Poland); Roger Stone (UK)

Richard Kilgour.

 

 

ICMA Northern Europe Region is meeting in Helsinki

ICMA2013ICMA chaplains from Finland, Denmark, Norway, Estonia, Poland and Germany are holding their regional conference in Helsinki/Finland these days. Yesterday a theological reflectionof the work and an introduction to cruise ships and cruise ship ministry was on the agenda. Today the focus is on MLC 2006 and a visit to the port of Tallin in Estonia.

AOS speaks out on treatment of stranded fishermen

Maritime charity, the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS), has spoken out on the way seafarers and fishermen are treated when they run into problems with their UK visas.  These seafarers are never without the support of ICMA member, AoS Great Britain. 

AOS ChaplainRecently four foreign fishermen, two Filipino and two Indonesian, were stranded in Newcastle, UK , when the fishing boat they were working on hit financial difficulties. The ‘Starward’ was impounded due to the owner’s financial troubles.

The crew had not been paid salaries since March. This meant that they were not able to send money back home to their families in Indonesia and the Philippines, with one crew member relating how his children were going hungry. As the crew were only contracted to work on this particular vessel they were not able to transfer to another. Also, as they were working on transit visas, the UK Border Agency had them arrested in mid-June and they were taken to a detention centre.  They were subsequently transferred to a Heathrow detention centre where some of them remain.

Throughout this ordeal the crew have been helped and supported by the Apostleship of the Sea’s Tyne port chaplain, Paul Atkinson. Paul has provided practical and emotional support, working with the AoS national office to try to alleviate the men’s stress and ensure they are fairly treated.

Apostleship of the Sea National Director Martin Foley said,

‘The application of immigration rules to these men has taken no consideration of their circumstances. It is appalling that overseas fishing crews who are stranded in the UK through no fault of their own are treated like criminals and subjected to treatment that has demeaned and humiliated them.”