British seafarer welfare charity Mission to Seafarers announced the launch of its new WeCare Social Communications and Financial Literacy training programme, a training initiative aiming to address rising levels of stress among seafarers brought on by financial pressures and the misuse of social networking platforms.
Supported by the UK P&I Club, the WeCare Finance Literacy programme will provide informative money management guidance to help seafarers and their families have better control over their spending.
As part of the training initiative, participants will be taught simple saving and budgeting techniques, such as how to allocate a set amount of money on a monthly basis to extended family – a challenge that is particularly relevant to seafarers from the Philippines, the charity said.
The programme has initially been developed for Filipino, Indian and Ukrainian seafarer families, with further options being explored for the future.
Meanwhile, the WeCare Social Communications programme seeks to educate seafarers and their families about the best use of social media as a tool for communication.
Reports from the Mission’s port chaplains and welfare teams, and comments from within the maritime industry, have revealed increasing levels of stress among seafarers around social media.
WiFi is now increasingly available not just in port but also at sea. If used inappropriately by families communicating with crew members, or indeed vice-versa, this can create unnecessary anxiety, especially when news from home is combined with feelings of powerlessness to respond. This can have a significant impact on well-being, which, in turn, can have a knock-on impact on quality of work, and potentially on safety,
…the Mission explained.
As such, the training programme will provide an understanding of how to communicate online in a way that is safe, beneficial and meaningful, helping seafarers to avoid breakdowns in communication that may be caused by misinterpretations of emotion or tone.
I hope this initiative will grow to become a major worldwide project – and one which learns and adapts at every step of the way,
…said the Revd Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General, The Mission to Seafarers.