Charity supporting Ukrainian seafarers long-term job prospects
Global ship visiting network Stella Maris is working with crewing agencies to ensure that Ukrainian seafarers who have sought refuge and residency in other countries in western Europe remain employable in the longer term.
As the war in Ukraine continues, seafarers are being adversely affected in terms of the loss of income and the means to support their families. The charity estimates that there are around 30,000 seafarers in Ukraine who are out of work trying to get help. A further 10,000 Ukrainian seafarers a month are coming off their contracts around the world.
“Recognising the potential long-term impact this could have upon the seafarers and their families, Stella Maris has been reaching out to crewing agencies to make sure that seafarers who seek help and residence in western Europe do not lose contact with the industry, and that they continue to get the training and support they need while they stay in Europe before returning to sea,” says Martin Foley, CEO of Stella Maris UK.
“Many of them face the difficult choice of whether to stay on board, or to come off their ships to be with families or help with the war efforts.
“We want to ensure that they have the right support and advice so they can make an informed decision moving forward,” Martin says, ahead of the annual Sea Sunday celebration on 10th July.
Stella Maris has to date secured $250,000 which has been used to help Ukrainian, Russian and other seafarers affected by the conflict.
The charity has worked in partnership with other organisations in the industry and other charities to get the funding, but more is needed to continue supporting seafarers and their families. The financial appeals held on Sea Sunday will go some way towards helping address this need and supporting the charity’s important work in the UK and around the world.
In Odesa, Ukraine, the Stella Maris team have remained in the country, despite the risks, to work with humanitarian agencies to ensure vital food supplies can be delivered to seafarers trapped on ships in the Black Sea and Azov Sea. There are an estimated 84 ships, and around 500 seafarers stuck there. Stella Maris is also providing food parcels to help families of seafarers in the city.
In Kaszuby, Poland, Stella Maris is providing emergency accommodation for up to 50 people, at a time, mainly women and children. This ‘home away from home’ is a safe haven for these refugees. As the war progresses, the need for care, counselling and medical assistance for those arriving at the centre continues to grow.
In Valetta, Malta, a crew change port for Ukrainian and Russian seafarers, Stella Maris is supporting affected seafarers with vital information and advice.
Sea Sunday was celebrated on 10th July. More information can be found at www.stellamaris.org.uk/seasunday To make a donation to support the charity’s important work, please go to www.stellamaris.org.uk/donate
Source: Stella Maris