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Chaplain celebrates 10 years of service to seafarers

Sailors’ Society chaplain Jasper Del Rosario is celebrating a decade of service to seafarers in the Filipino port of Subic Bay.

Jasper, who began working for the charity in 2009, visits seafarers on board ships, gives them access to Wi-Fi so they can contact home and, when necessary, offers counselling and welfare support.

He is also heavily involved in Sailors’ Society’s Wellness at Sea programme and delivers training to help improve seafarers’ on board health and well-being.

During his 10 years as a port chaplain, Jasper has visited 1,600 ships, given lifts to 9,000 seafarers and reached more than 30,000 men and women working on board.

Sandra Welch, Sailors’ Society’s deputy CEO, said, “Jasper is a true friend to seafarers visiting Subic Bay and his unwavering commitment to seafarer welfare is inspirational.”

Last year, in recognition of his work, Jasper was presented with the Dr Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year award by the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN).

Jasper was heavily involved in the support efforts after Typhoon Haiyan devastated vast areas of the Philippines in 2013.

Sailors’ Society chaplain Jasper Del Rosario with children who were affected by Typhoon Haiyan

The typhoon killed more than 6,000 people and left an estimated $2.8 billion worth of damage.

Jasper travelled to Tacloban, one of the areas worst hit, to support seafaring families affected by the disaster.

Jasper said, “We were able to provide those in need with urgent support and helped communities rebuild their lives.”

A trained crisis responder, Jasper is part of Sailors’ Society’s Crisis Response Network, which provides a rapid response trauma care and counselling service for survivors of piracy attacks, natural disasters and crises at home and sea.

One family who received Jasper’s support was that of seafarer Rodel, who learnt his house had burnt down while he was at sea.

Rodel said, “It was very hard for a seafarer like me to have such an incident happen to my family while I was not around.”

Jasper visited Rodel’s family, providing them with much needed support.

Rodel added, “Thank you Jasper for being there when my family was in need.”
Source: Sailors’ Society

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