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An update from the International Port Welfare Partnership (IPWP) programme (January - June 2019)

July 08, 2019
IPWP Jan Jun 2019 4

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. Here is an update on the programme from January to June 2019:

Tampa, March 2019 - Seminar on Seafarers’ Welfare in the Caribbean

The IPWP Programme team attended and co-sponsored the North American Maritime Ministry Association’s (NAMMA) seminar 'Seafarers’ Welfare in the Caribbean 2019'. The event was held in Tampa, Florida at the beginning of March and allowed the team to give a presentation on the Programme to delegates from across the US and Caribbean region. We are hoping that the contacts made will bring further Port Welfare Committees (PWCs) to fruition across the region.

Port Welfare Committee launched in Durban

Durban has become the first South African port to form a Port Welfare Committee as part of the IPWP programme. Sharon Coveney and Tom Holmer (employed under contract to assist with the programme) visited Durban between 26 – 30 May 2019 to support the establishment of a PWC. A high-profile launch event was held on Wednesday 29 May, which included a presentation from the IPWP and was addressed by the Deputy Mayor and South African Port Authority. The port of Durban benefits from an established seafarers centre in Bayhead with a recently refurbished bar. In the evening, the centre hosted a special braai to celebrate the establishment of the PWC which was attended by over 40 seafarers of different nationalities. The IPWP team were made to feel extremely welcome and were immensely impressed by the good work being done by the welfare workers and chaplains in the port. Further details can be found here.

Ambassador’s training

In January, filming for the online IPWP Ambassadors course was conducted by Jason Zuidema (ICMA) and the MNWB/IPWP team in conjunction with the Southern PWC and supported by ABP, Southampton. Jason is working with the team to create the innovative course, which will eventually link to the IPWP software platform. Also as part of the Durban visit; Sharon, Tom and the IPWP Kenya Ambassador Revd. Muli held a pilot Ambassador training workshop for Port Chaplains and Regional Representatives from ports within Southern African and other African countries. The training included the purpose of PWCs, the benefits of partnership working and a workshop to set up an action plan for the individual ports that were keen to establish a PWC in their region.

IPWP meeting in Richards Bay

During the visit to SA, the IPWP team along with representatives from MtS, met with the Richards Bay Port Manager and Harbour Master. South African Port Authority (Transnet) confirmed its commitment to support and participate in the establishment of a Richards Bay PWC. A PWC will help the port to improve the experience of visiting seafarers by regularly reviewing welfare provision and enable better use of the seafarers’ centre which provides free wife, meals and a shop.

Looking ahead

The team are in the process of providing support to maritime sector representatives who are keen to establish welfare boards in South Africa (Richards Bay and Cape Town), Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Bermuda. The IPWP will be attending the ISWAN AGM and Seminar which is due to be held in Mumbai at the end of November 2019. IPWP Ambassadors training will be held during the event to help promote the benefits of PWCs to representatives from ports throughout India.

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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