Seafarers and stranded fishers in Indian Ocean receive vital support
Stranded fishers have been thrown a lifeline by ‘Les Amis des Marins’, a seafarers’ welfare centre on Reunion Island, with the help of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust Emergency Covid fund.
The seafarers’ centre, in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, usually generates a monthly income through the sale of SIM cards, and its accommodation and hospitality services for seafarers.
With flights cancelled and lockdown rules enforced, the centre’s emergency reserves were soon used up as it supported seafarers on cargo ships and stranded crews unable to get home. With the help of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust grant of 14,492 EUR, the centre has continued providing vital outreach and practical services to seafarers on cargo ships and fishers.
“We’ve provided accommodation, SIM cards and 3 meals a day for 10 stranded fishers, and we’ve continued to deliver to the gangways, goods, food and enable communications with loved ones to combat isolation for seafarers on cargo ships. None of this would have been possible without this much needed grant.” said Port Chaplain, Alain Djeutang,
The £1 million emergency fund to support seafarers and welfare services hit by Covid-19 was launched at the end of March.
“We’re honoured to be able to provide practical support for seafarers via welfare centres such as Les Amis des Marins on Reunion Island. Working together with them, towards a common aim has allowed us to send support where it’s needed during the early days of the pandemic. We are now discussing with our partners how and where we can support seafarers in the coming months” Katie Higginbottom, Head of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust stated.