ISWAN and Trafigura Foundation’s new partnership to promote the welfare of seafarers worldwide

November 01, 2017
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The Trafigura Foundation awards ISWAN a grant to improve its helpline and support dedicated emergency funds for seafarers experiencing difficult situations at sea.

The Trafigura Foundation and ISWAN have begun a collaboration to improve ISWAN's assistance to seafarers.

Seafarers, who are responsible for transporting 90% of the world's goods, lead tough lives with fast turnaround of ships in ports, months at a time spent on board, reduced crew numbers and increased workloads. They also face long periods away from family and friends with limited or no communication back home for weeks on end.

ISWAN's 24-hour multilingual helpline, SeafarerHelp, provides a lifeline for seafarers experiencing critical situations at sea or needing emotional support to cope with the time spent away from home. The Trafigura Foundation's grant will be used to replace ISWAN's current customer relationship management software with a new system to enable the helpline to offer a better service and improved data monitoring of seafarers in need.

This collaboration will also benefit seafarers through two specific funds administered by ISWAN: the Seafarers' Emergency Fund, which provides immediate, essential aid to seafarers and their families who are directly involved in unforeseen crises; and the Piracy Survivors Family Fund (PSFF), created to help seafarers affected by piracy attacks around the Horn of Africa. The PSFF offers vital support during and after seafarers' captivity by providing livelihood and living expenses to their families, as well as mental and physical rehabilitation. The fund is providing ongoing support to seafarers held hostage by Somali pirates.

Roger Harris, Executive Director of ISWAN said: 'We warmly welcome the Trafigura Foundation's new funding and their commitment to ISWAN and the welfare of seafarers. We are looking forward to a long term productive partnership with the foundation'.

Vincent Faber, Executive Director of the Trafigura Foundation, said: 'Our partnership with ISWAN not only makes sense in the framework of our philanthropic strategy promoting clean and safe supply chains. It is also a pioneering collaboration able to engender a strong positive impact on the lives of seafarers, whose working category deserves special support and welfare measures. We are proud to support ISWAN's commitment and help this Association reach out to more beneficiaries'.


ISWAN is an independent international not-for-profit organisation/charity supporting seafarers and their families worldwide. We provide a 24/365 helpline, emotional support, health information, and support for seafarers affected by piracy and other traumatic events. ISWAN works in partnership with a range of different organisations to promote the wellbeing of seafarers.


Established in November 2007 as an independent philanthropic entity, the Trafigura Foundation provides long-term funding and expertise to improve socio-economic conditions of vulnerable communities around the world. It joins forces with experienced organisations working on the field to achieve long-lasting impact with programmes tailored on local realities.

The Foundation's action is based on two pillars. The first one is the provision of support in the social entrepreneurship's field, with the aim of boosting sustainable employment for the most vulnerable categories and creating economic opportunities in the poorest regions of the world. The second is the promotion of clean and safe supply chains, which focuses on enhancing the livelihood of populations impacted by logistic activities and mitigating environmental and social issues caused by transportation or infrastructure at land and sea.

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We are grateful to our main funders for their continued support: