The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) is an international maritime charity which works to improve the lives of seafarers and their families with services, resources, strategies and advocacy.
Seafarers bring us 90% of the things we use every day and take care of us when we travel by sea, but their lives are often tough. They experience long periods away from family and friends with limited or no communication, fast turnaround in ports with restricted or no shore leave, reduced crew numbers and increased workloads.
Welfare services and facilities both on board and ashore can be a lifeline for seafarers.
Better lives for all seafarers and their families
For seafarers and their families:
We operate SeafarerHelp – the number one free, confidential, 24/7/365, multilingual helpline providing help and support to seafarers and their families around the world. For professional yacht crew, we operate the free, 24-hour helpline Yacht Crew Help.
We have staff working in India, the Philippines and Nigeria to provide humanitarian support in these regions, and we administer a number of relief funds to provide financial support to seafarers and their families in crisis or with urgent needs.
Seafarers can also access free health resources on our website and the ISWAN for Seafarers app, including self-help mental health guides and guidance on topics like healthy eating, keeping fit on board and safe travel.
For the wider maritime industry:
We work to drive change within the maritime industry for better health and wellbeing amongst seafarers, using data from our helplines to identify areas of need and inform new projects and research.
We provide Maritime Mental Health Awareness training, offering both in-house trainings for companies and open access sessions for individuals or smaller groups.
We also deliver bespoke crew support helplines for a number of shipping companies and organisations within the industry.
In 2021, we assisted nearly 12,000 seafarers and their families of more than 80 different nationalities around the world. Over US $140,000 was awarded to seafarers and their families in need by the relief funds administered by ISWAN.
Our funders and supporters
We are funded by grants from foundations, membership subscriptions, sponsorship and earned income. We are proud to work with our core funders – the ITF Seafarers' Trust, The Seafarers' Charity, The TK Foundation and Trafigura Foundation – and all our partners and sponsors who make what we do possible.
ISWAN's accounts for the year ended 31 March 2021 can be found here.