Sailors' Society Funds Fishing Boats

By MarEx 2014-08-07 19:00:00

After an incredible response to its Typhoon Haiyan Emergency Appeal last year, Sailors' Society has partnered with the Homer Foundation to provide fishing boats for struggling seafarers’ families.

Donations received from the global shipping industry are funding the project to reinvigorate local industry in Filipino seafaring communities and relieve pressure on seafarers.

A huge proportion of the world's seafarers hail from small villages in the Visayas region of the Philippines, which was ravaged by the super typhoon in November. Often seafarers from these areas support not only their family, but others in the same village group, on the strength of a single wage.  As a result, many of these coastal communities have traditionally supported themselves through local fishing, providing an additional income and whilst seafaring members are away from home.

Thousands of small fishing vessels were destroyed when Haiyan hit, and this vital supplementary income was ripped away.

The Homer Foundation identifies community clusters where there is a high proportion of seafarers and provides replacement fishing boats, helping these communities to once again become strong and self-sustaining.

Sailors' Society aims to transform the lives of seafarers and their families in port, at home and at sea. The project will provide a source of income well into the future, and encourage future growth.

The Society's Subic Bay chaplain, Jasper del Rosario, who traveled to the affected area in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, returned to the region to witness the launch of a number of boats that the Society had funded in Panay and Roxas City, and meet the beneficiaries in person.

He reported his joy at seeing a practical resolution to their troubles, having provided pastoral support on his previous visit. “The launch project is a great success – I spent time with the family of one seafarer who is currently away at sea. His father is ill and cannot work, so the fishing boat Sailors’ Society has provided, means his wife and extended family are able to fill the income gap.”

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