PRESS RELEASE: Ground-breaking seafarer welfare training programme launched by ITF Seafarers’ Trust and World Maritime University

‘MARI-WEL’ Professional Development Programme launched on Day of the Seafarer;

The first-ever course of its type


25 JUNE 2018 – The ITF Seafarers’ Trust and the World Maritime University have announced a new seafarer welfare training programme designed to equip maritime professionals with key skills and knowledge to support the welfare of seafarers.


The Maritime Welfare (MARI-WEL) Professional Development Programme has been announced today in honour of the Day of the Seafarer, which this year focuses on ‘Seafarers’ wellbeing’. Created in partnership by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust and the World Maritime University, MARI-WEL is the first programme of its kind to deliver a comprehensive overview of the topics and issues that relate to seafarer welfare.


MARI-WEL will be delivered as a distance learning course via an innovative online portal consisting of a series of videos, lectures, and activities – enabling participants to follow the programme from anywhere in the world. Covering three separate modules, the programme provides participants with flexibility to follow the course at their own speed, and offline if need be.


Led by world-leading experts in the field of seafarer rights, regulations, and welfare issues, the three modules cover the following areas:


  • Module 1: international regulations, conventions, codes, and seafarers’ rights
  • Module 2: psycho-social and occupational health relating to seafarers
  • Module 3: crew & resource management and land-based seafarer welfare


MARI-WEL is designed to meet the needs of anyone who works with or interacts with seafarers, both onboard and onshore. This includes ship management companies, crewing agencies, port chaplains, and welfare providers.


The idea for the course originated with the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, a UK charity working internationally to advance the wellbeing of seafarers, and their families worldwide. Commenting on the launch of MARI-WEL, Dave Heindel, Chair of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, said:


“Seafarers’ welfare is a critical issue for every organisation in the shipping industry and should be treated as an essential element of the professional training and development for anyone who works with seafarers. The purpose of MARI-WEL is to set a new professional standard that will increase the level of awareness of welfare issues across the industry. We are delighted to partner with such an esteemed organisation as the World Maritime University on the design of the programme. We anticipate that MARI-WEL will become the gold standard for maritime welfare training and encourage every shipping professional that works with seafarers to look at how the comprehensive programme can benefit them and their organisation.”


Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University, stated:


“MARI-WEL is the first programme of its kind to take such a comprehensive look at seafarers’ welfare. It is an important step in supporting the work of the IMO, the International Labour Organization, the ITF Seafarers’ Trust and all other stakeholders focused on the welfare of seafarers. The World Maritime University has a reputation for delivering high-quality distance learning programmes, and we are pleased to join with our long-standing partners, the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, on the ground-breaking MARI-WEL programme that will have a positive impact on the well-being of seafarers worldwide.”


Founded in 1983 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and based in Malmö, Sweden, the World Maritime University is at the forefront of postgraduate maritime and ocean education.


The first MARI-WEL programme will commence on 1 August. A limited number of scholarships will be available as well as potential discounts for multiple participants from the same organisation and/or applicants from smaller welfare organisations and charities. For a preview of the MARI-WEL programme and to register your interest visit


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Screen capture of the actual course platform

Screen capture of the actual course platform

Dave Heindel, Chair of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust

Dave Heindel, Chair of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust


Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University

Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University


About ITF Seafarers’ Trust:

The ITF Seafarers’ Trust was established by the ITF in 1981 as a body with charitable status under UK law. It is dedicated to the welfare of seafarers, irrespective of nationality, race or creed. Its funding comes from the investment income of the ITF welfare fund, which is used to provide trade union services to seafarers.

”Our vision is to be the leader in promoting and improving the wellbeing of maritime workers worldwide. We support the provision of services to maritime workers; we invest in long-term programs that improve seafarers, and their families’ health and wellbeing; and we act as a catalyst for positive change in the maritime community”. For more information, please visit


About World Maritime University:

The World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden is a postgraduate maritime university founded in 1983 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations. The mission of WMU is to be the world centre of excellence in postgraduate maritime and oceans education, professional training and research, while building global capacity and promoting sustainable development. WMU is an organization by and for the international maritime community and is committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Agenda. For more information on WMU, please visit


Media Enquiries:                                                  

Kwilole Chisuse-van der Boom

BLUE Communications

T: +44 (0) 7885 463 927 / +44 (0) 1865 514214


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