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Pacific Basin Shipping sponsors The Mission to Seafarers’ family support network

Pacific Basin Shipping, a leading dry bulk owner and operator, joins five other leading companies as a Platinum sponsor of the Mission’s Sustaining Crew Welfare Campaign, allocating their contribution specifically to the Mission’s Family Support Network in the Philippines.

First established in 2016, the Mission’s Family Support Network (Philippines) has grown significantly and now supports over 4,000 seafarers and their family members across the Philippines. This valuable service not only brings seafarers’ families together to provide mutual support, it also offers relevant training and guidance in terms of managing long distance relationships, how to communicate by social media with seafarers away from home, managing finances and everyday worries and concerns. In addition, they have helped with the vaccination effort.

The Mission to Seafarers team in Manila can coordinate expert advice in specific circumstances to alleviate concerns and worries. This reduces the pressure on seafarers away from home, enabling them to continue with their work with the knowledge that the Mission is supporting their families at home. The Mission hopes that this goes some small way to assist safety at sea.

The project sponsorship will fund the operational costs of the Family Support Network service including the running of a minibus which transports seafarers to and from their homes; assists sick seafarers who need transport, and for travel from ports and airports as necessary. The transport also provides support for the delivery of the Family Support Network’s seminars and information services on medical, legal and financial support, as well as counselling to those in need.

On countless occasions, The Mission to Seafarers has provided first response support to seafarers in need. The Family Support Network service liaises with the Mission’s global network to assist in times of crisis and concern by offering reassurance and practical solutions. This has been the case in countries like the Philippines during natural disasters and global pandemics such as COVID-19 and the recent Typhoon Rai.

The Mission to Seafarers volunteers in Kalaw [photograph taken pre-pandemic]

Mr Martin Fruergaard, CEO of Pacific Basin, commented: ‘‘Our seafarers continue to be the backbone of our business, and their dedication, loyalty and professionalism – despite the hardships – enables our company to continue to provide reliable service to customers in good times and bad.

“Our contribution to this worthy cause is one of the ways we can help to support both seafarers and their families, who are also part of the wider Pacific Basin family. The Mission to Seafarers’ Family Support Network helps by providing assistance and support to families which is vital while their seafarers are away at sea’’

Ben Bailey, Director of Advocacy & Regional Engagement, The Mission to Seafarers, added: “Over the last six years we have built 8 chapters across the Philippines and empowered local communities to work together to create sustainable support networks while their loved ones are at sea. During the pandemic, our chapters have been very active online, working to complete the Mission’s WeCare Financial Wellbeing programme as well as explore topics of resilience and positive mental health. In Manila, our team has been offering transport to seafarers and working with those who are seeking work or who require a route into state support.

“During the recent Typhoon Rai, one of our chapters has been very badly hit, and we are working with affected communities to provide support and practical assistance.

“Our work with seafarers’ families is part of our strategy to be there when crews need us most. Over the next five years, we want to work with maritime stakeholders to establish new networks across the globe and already have plans to build on our latest network in India.

“We are delighted to be working with Pacific Basin Shipping for the next three years, and we are very grateful for their generous financial contribution. We thank Pacific Basin Shipping for their incredible generosity. We are now looking for two more corporate donors to help us cover all the costs of this service.”
Source: The Mission to Seafarers

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