1.4 million in funding over four years is helping seafarers
The welfare of seafarers based in south-east Asian countries is being improved thanks to a welcome injection of cash from the ITF Seafarers’ Trust.
Unionists attending the south-east Asia welfare committee meeting held on 5 and 6 October in Singapore, described how the 1.4 million in funding over four years is helping seafarers in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. In particular grants are going towards funding vehicles to transport seafarers, ship visiting and communication equipment and to support welfare workers and existing centres.
An important component of the programme has been the establishment of new welfare boards such as those in Singapore. These have been formed successfully in Cambodia and Taiwan, and advanced in Thailand, where they did not exist before. Through the active involvement of ITF maritime unions in the region, the boards are responsible for receiving funds and handling projects that assist seafarers.
Unionists called for the programme to continue to a second phase of consolidation.
Tom Holmer, administrative officer of the trust, said “We have all been pleased with the results, including the new board and seafarers’ welfare project in Shianoukville, Cambodia, the first grant we have ever given to that country.”
Dewa Nyoman Budiasa, regional coordinator for the programme, who also represents the seafarers’ centre of Bali and the maritime union Kesatuan Pelaut Indonesia, said: “We have seen some good projects work here; we have excellent cooperation and want to go further in giving seafarers here a better experience.”
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