An update from the International Port Welfare Partnership (IPWP) programme

December 14, 2018
Ipwp Dec 2018 8

The International Port Welfare Partnership (IPWP) programme is an ISWAN project managed by the Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB). It aims to encourage and support the establishment of welfare boards worldwide. The programme has had a busy few months – here is an update from June to December 2018:


In June, following on from the IMPA & IMO visits earlier in the year, the IPWP team attended and presented to the 11th International Harbour Masters Association Congress at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London. IPWP Programme Director Peter Tomlin presented in front of HRH Princess Royal and Programme Manager Sharon Coveney discussed the programme and exhibition stand with Kitack Lim, Secretary General of IMO & President of IHMA.


In July, the IPWP made its first trip to Russia to assist with the inaugural meeting of the Novorossiysk Port Welfare Council. Sharon Coveney and MNWB Port Welfare Committee (PWC) Manager Katherine Lockwood made the trip over to support Roald Alyakrinsky from the International League for the Care of Seafarers. The IPWP team had been developing this relationship for some time and were delighted to receive such a warm welcome from our Russian hosts. Roald has now been made an IPWP Ambassador for the programme and the IPWP hopes to build further relations with Russian ports in the future. You can read more here.


During September & October, the IPWP announced the hugely successful establishment of the Mombasa PWC. This later became the Kenya Seafarers Welfare Board (KSWB) with representatives from ship owners, unions, port authority, voluntary and other statutory organisations in the Port of Mombasa. A number of preparatory meetings took place in the run-up to the formal inaugural meeting and the formation of the Board would not have been possible without the support of the local organisations and the efforts of Rev. Moses Muli, Mission to Seafarers.

Moses brought everyone together and his contribution resulted in the award of an IPWP Certificate of Commendation for all his hard work. You can read more about the trip here.


In October, regardless of the fact that Cameroon is not a signatory of MLC, 2006, West Africa IPWP Ambassador Amos Kuje visited Cameroon to help members form the first ever PWC in Douala.

Amos Kuje has been instrumental in developing seafarers' welfare board relationships across the region for some time. However, the formation of the Cameroon Seafarers Welfare Board would not have been possible without the assistance of Charles Kountchou from the Baltic Control (Cameroon) freight group. As the local contact, Charles worked tirelessly to bring the maritime community together to support seafarers' welfare and the IPWP thanks him for his efforts.


In November, the IPWP team attended and presented at ISWAN's AGM & conference; where seafarers' welfare, best practice and partnership working featured high on the agenda. Represented by Director Peter Tomlin, Programme Manager Sharon Coveney and IPWP Ambassadors Amos Kuje, Roald Alyakrinsky and Chirag Bahri, the team briefed a wide audience on the progress and plans for the IPWP programme. This was an excellent opportunity to spread the word and generate even more interest in the project. The picture shows (left to right) Chirag, Peter (presenting), Sharon, Amos and Roald.

IPWP Software Update & Case Studies

The IPWP continues to develop the software needed to support a global network of welfare boards in the future.

In the meantime, ports are utilising our website to create their own PWCs. Check out the IPWP website case studies: St Johns, Antigua and Barbuda; Gladstone, Australia; Rotterdam, Netherlands, Tema, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Russia and Mombasa. The IPWP is always looking to help set up new welfare boards at local, regional and national levels and, in order to minimise bureaucracy, also looks into the possibility of integration of PWCs within existing, well-established maritime port committees.

Do You Want Your Port To Be Next?

The programme has now formally set up 9 PWCs in 2018 and has strong levels of interest from other countries/ports. There are also many more ports who have established PWCs or are establishing PWCs themselves. The IPWP wants you to contact them and tell them about yourselves because that's great news – the more the merrier! If you want to join the programme then please contact the IPWP here for further details.

The ISWAN IPWP programme is managed by the MNWB and has a maritime sector-wide Executive Committee (Chaired by ISWAN) that consists of representatives from Govt., Shipowners, Unions, Port Owners/Authorities, Voluntary Organisations/NGOs and is generously funded by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, Seafarers UK, The TK Foundation and the Merchant Navy Welfare Board.

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