First Covid-19 welfare grants made by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust
Seafarers are starting to feel the benefits from the ITF Seafarers’ Trust Covid-19 welfare grant scheme.
After the launch of the one million pound scheme last month in response to the crisis, the first three grants have now been made to help welfare organisations across the world minimise the impact of the pandemic on seafarers and support them through the coming weeks and months.
At the Stella Maris and Scalabrini centres in Manila, Philippines, 120 seafarers have been stranded by the lockdown together with Stella Maris staff who have generously stayed on to make sure they get the food and support they need. Grant funding from the Trust and the TK Foundation has been given to keep the centre running and to provide much needed supplies.
Paulo Prigol from Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) Philippines said: “The grant from the ITF Seafarers’ Trust and the TK Foundation has given us much joy, hope and confidence. Now the 120 seafarers in our centers can have three meals a day and they are guaranteed for at least 60 days board and lodging. On behalf of all seafarers many thanks…for supporting in this time of crisis and uncertainties.”
Meanwhile in Bali, Indonesian seafarers returning from cruise ships are going into quarantine and being tested for Covid-19 to prevent the spread of the virus. Kesatuan Pelaut Indonesia (KPI) union applied for a grant to help them support the returning seafarers, providing food and essentials while they wait for test results, and undertaking outreach with their home villages to make sure that seafarers are not discriminated against because of a perceived health risk when they return home.
In the USA, Tampa Port Ministries applied for funds to allow them to continue to run their centre and specifically to provide internet to sailors stuck aboard ships in the port of Tampa . They are also increasing their delivery service which enables seafarers to order goods online and receive mail. In the month of March alone they delivered 3,020 parcels to the ships, including online delivery orders and personal mail.
Katie Higginbottom, Head of ITFST said: “We salute all those who are going above and beyond and managing to improve the lives of seafarers during this immensely challenging crisis. The Trust is very proud to support the great work going on.”
If you’re a seafarers’ welfare organisation and you need support to provide essential services at this time, read more here about our grants to see if your organisation could apply for a grant from our Covid-19 Welfare fund.