The ITF Seafarers' Trust - which often pays for vehicles for seafarers' welfare bodies and missions - has announced it will be surveying their uses and effectiveness so as to use its grants as effectively as possible. The Trust will be partnering in the programme with the International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA) and the North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA).
One of the Seafarers' Trust's main areas of funding is that of providing seafarers' centres/ships visitors with the means of transporting themselves and seafarers to and from ships by granting service providers funds to purchase appropriate vehicles. The Trust has provided over GPB 2.5 Million for this purpose over the last 34 years.
In order to make grant giving in this area more fair and equitable to the service providers, the Seafarers' Trust announces that it will partner with ICMA and NAMMA for a short program of data-gathering on current usage and needs of vehicles in ports around the world. ICMA and NAMMA are both international associations that represent the great majority of seafarers' centres around the world.
The data to be collected focuses on the number of seafarers served, the current state of vehicles being used for seafarer welfare purposes, the distance from ship to services, the mileage per year. Once the information is collected, the organisations that the Seafarers' Trust determines are likely to get a vehicle grant will be contacted and invited to apply for a vehicle grant.
Neither ICMA nor NAMMA will be involved in the granting decisions, only in gathering data and sharing information about the program.
Kimberly Karlshoej, the Head of the Seafarers' Trust, stated, "We continue to believe that providing seafarers with transport is a high priority for seafarers' welfare, and we want to be proactive in finding where our grants will have the greatest impact. ICMA and NAMMA are well placed to help gather data from all seafarer welfare providers, even those that are not members, we are delighted to partner with both organisations on this project.
The Rev. Richard Kilgour, General Secretary of ICMA, noted the same, "The long-standing and strong relationship between the ITF Seafarers' Trust and ICMA members is a great asset. ICMA supports the gathering information in this way for planning years ahead to target funds fairly and equitably to best effect for vital van replacement. That ICMA has been asked to help with data gathering is another example of how we are partners in this work."
Dr. Jason Zuidema, Executive Director of NAMMA, called attention to this project's importance: "Those seeking excellence in seafarers' welfare know that partnerships are important. Collaborating on this project is not just practical, but it again celebrates the beautiful connection that members in local ports have with the Seafarers' Trust."