Category Archives: Partners

Directory a lifeline to seafarers

ICMA member the Apostleship of the Sea / Stella Maris has launched its first printed directory of port chaplains around the world. This directory contains contact details of the Stella Maris network.

In a statement released in London, AoS spokesperson John Green said:

The directory contains the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of the Catholic maritime agency’s chaplains in 259 ports.  We have chaplains in most of the world’s ports, from Durban to Dubai and from Costa Rica to Colombo.  We believe providing details of all our chaplains will be a valuable resource for both seafarers and many others working in the shipping industry.

The AoS directory will be useful to the International Christian Maritime Association.  ICMA has a comprehensive online directory which reflects details of all our members’ operations.  The new AoS directory will, in time, be added to the ICMA online directory.

Over Christmas the ICMA online directory (available by clicking on the icon in this article and at the top of this page) has been updated extensively.  The update process is continuing.   ICMA’s directory makes every attempt at providing convenient access to all of our members’ stations, centres and chaplains at a single location in an up to date database.  ICMA’s directory is the only one that provides contact details of all our members’ seafarers’ centres and of our chaplains in ports where no seafarers centres exist.

Port chaplains, seafarers centres and other ICMA personnel and establishments are urged to check their own details in the ICMA database and to regularly inform the Secretariat of changes as they occur.

The value of the ICMA directory was demonstrated recently when SeafarerHelp searched for assistance to be given to seafarers in crisis as far afield as Chile, the Falkland Islands and Ukraine.

AoS’s John Green stated at the release of the new AoS directory:

Our chaplains are a lifeline for many seafarers when they arrive in a port. Seafarers know that they can trust and rely on a chaplain.

That lifeline depends on our diligence at keeping our contact details current.

Tom takes a bow

Tom Holmer retires at the end of 2012.  Friday December 21st is Tom’s last day at the office.  Tom is the Administrative Officer at the ITF Seafarers Trust.

Tom Holmer and Hennie la Grange

For the best part of the last decade Tom Holmer has been the human interface between ICMA, our members and their local operations on the one hand, and the trustees of the seafarers’ welfare charity sector’s single most important funder, the ITF Seafarers Trust, on the other.  Tom’s commitment to the welfare of seafarers informed and guided all relations between Tom, the Trust and ICMA.

He is a gentleman, a loyal supporter and a man of integrity. Always positive, always hopeful and always enthusiastic, Tom was once asked how he does it:  “My faith,” was his response.

Tom understands people: he is interested, always respectful, collaborative and constructive.  He can be counted upon to search for ways of reconciling differences, cement social partnership and  to find ways around obstructions.  Tom Holmer is an ambassador for unionism.  His belief in human dignity in the workplace is all too apparent.  He is an ally to the cause of justice. Tom is forgiving of insult and injustice directed at himself, maintaining his professionalism to a fault, but intolerant of the same when others suffer.

It has been sheer delight to work with Tom Holmer. I feel privileged to have worked with him.  I will miss him desperately.  A real character of the welfare sector takes his leave from the stage to applause from many of us in ICMA.

Tom is full of enthusiasm for the challenges and opportunities that now arise.  He looks forward to doing “something new, something completely different.”  Our prayers are with Tom as he sets out on this new phase of his life, while we thank God for his service to the welfare of seafarers during his career at the ITF Seafarers Trust.

App points seafarers to centres

The ITF Seafarers Trust has launched an application to guide seafarers to our port welfare providers. 

Shore Leave is an application with seafarers in mind.   On the Google Play website the app is introduced by asking:

Are you approaching a new port? Searching for the nearest seafarers’ centre? Looking for reliable transport to the city? Shore Leave is what you need. Store all seafarers’ centre contact details into your android phone, and keep them always with you, wherever you go. Once you arrive in a port, just switch on your phone webpage, open Shore Leave, and in a few clicks you will be able to get in touch with the nearest seafarers’ centre. Shore Leave works even without any internet connection.

CLICK HERE to see the app at Google Play.  You will need to connect with your phone to download it and you should have a gmail-account.

In other news from the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, it was reported that the Trust is to review its operations during 2013:

ITF Seafarers Trust: “Dedicated to the spiritual, moral and physical welfare of seafarers”

In a statement announcing the review, the ITF Seafarers Trust said: Continue reading App points seafarers to centres

ISWAN: a new era in providing for the welfare of seafarers

The International Committee on Seafarers Welfare (ICSW) and the International Seafarers Assistance Network (ISAN) have formally decided to merge.  A new force for the provision of welfare to seafarers, the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) will emerge.  The new charity and limited company will begin its operations in April 2013.

The Boards of both ISCW and ISWAN have this week, after having secured the vital support of its major stakeholders and funders, decided to forge ahead with the process.  The ICSW’s members voiced their overwhelming support at an Extraordinary General Meeting in London.

The new body for seafarers’ welfare appears at an opportune moment: with the implementation date of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 due in August 2013, ISWAN will be well placed to respond to the opportunities and challenges posed by the Convention.

ISWAN will remain a member-based organisation.  The International Christian Maritime Association’s membership is as crucial as ever.  ICMA’s missions are all members of ISWAN by default, as was the case with its predecessor, the ICSW.  The ICSW has relied heavily on and gained much from ICMA’s support.  At present, ICMA’s General Secretary, Hennie la Grange, is acting chair or the ICSW.  ICMA members provide a vital link to seafarers at the coal face, delivering personalised pastoral care on ships , in ports and at home, enabling fast feedback on seafarers’ needs.  With SeafarerHelp incorporated, ISWAN will enhance its direct contact with seafarers and will be able to fast-track referrals to caregivers and response agencies like ICMA.  It will also be able to report to  ICMA on the developing trends among seafarers’ needs, and help us to assist effectively, while in turn it would provide a platform for our feedback to SeafarerHelp to improve efficiency.

ISWAN will be as valuable to ICMA as the ICSW had been in providing a place where international agencies who care for the welfare of seafarers meet and network.  ICMA will use ISWAN to enhance its contacts and relations with trade unions, shipping companies, funders and other responders to the needs of merchant seafarers worldwide.

Roger Harris issued a statement on behalf of the two charities:

The new organisation will advocate for the development of seafarer welfare boards nationally and at port level as well as pressing for more funding for welfare facilities and services in ports. ISWAN will also be looking at greater access by seafarers to internet while at sea and in port, using port levies for seafarers welfare, health promotion for seafarers, and other initiatives that will benefit seafarers.

The new organisation is supported by the International Shipping Federation, the International Transport Workers’ Federation, and the International Christian Maritime Association.

ICMA welcomes the emergence of the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN).  The ICMA Executive Committee has committed its support on behalf of the Association.

CLICK HERE to read a statement by the ICSW Chair, Hennie la Grange,  made at the Seminar on MLC 2006, hosted by ICSW in London in the last week of November 2012.