Without them, we would miss most of the things we rely on every day. But to bring those things to us, seafarers in turn miss many of the things we take for granted.
They leave their homes and loved ones to go to sea for up to a year at a time, facing extreme loneliness, violent storms and even piracy.
They miss births, funerals, Christmases – seeing their families grow up.
Many of these men and women come from the world’s poorest communities, with limited career options.
Maritime welfare charity Sailors’ Society works in 27 countries around the world, providing a lifeline for seafarers and their families in need through chaplaincy, education and the relief of poverty and distress.
How We Support Seafarers
We run community projects and provide emergency and educational grants for seafaring communities around the world, from healthcare for retired seafarers in India to funding a secondary school in Ghana and maritime scholarships in Greece. In the Philippines, home to nearly one-third of the world’s seafarers, we’ve built homes, schools and community centres for people forced to live in temporary shelters by Typhoon Haiyan. We’ve also provided boats for seafarers’ children there, who were wading or swimming through the sea up to two kilometres just to get to school, so that they can have a safe, dry school run.
Our chaplains come on board ships and run seafarers’ centres to help seafarers – whether it’s giving them lifts into town, organising doctors’ appointments, providing Wi-Fi to contact loved ones or just offering a listening ear. And our free ear and eye testing facility in the port of Deendayal, India, helps early identification and treatment of potentially career-ending medical problems.
With the dangers of life at sea, we’ve got a network of trained crisis responders across Europe, Africa and Asia, who provide a 24-hour service to seafarers and their families traumatised by piracy or terrorist attacks, or natural disasters. And we offer Wellness at Sea training and an app for seafarers aimed at helping them deal with the day-to-day stresses of the job and keep physically and mentally fit on board ship.
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