#SmallActsBigDifference is an essential way to demonstrate mercy during this challenging season. In a show of solidarity for seafarers, Mercy Ships Canada wants to highlight the work of The Nautical Institute in officially supporting the Emergency Funding for Developing World Seafarers campaign run by the International Seafarers’ Welfare & Assistance Network.
Mercy Ships is an international humanitarian organization that uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class healthcare services and medical capacity building in the world’s poorest countries. Every year over 1,200 volunteers from up to 40 nations volunteer onboard the Africa Mercy, the world’s largest civilian hospital ship. Seafarers and other professionals are an essential part of our volunteer crew.
Like other maritime organizations, our volunteer crew and their travel have been affected by COVID-19. Mercy Ships Canada understands the stress and fatigue crew members face when they are away from their families for extended periods and not being able to return home. Yet, we have been blessed to be able to care for all of our crew, including seafarers. However, around the world, thousands of seafarers have been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
On April 20, 2020, the Internal Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim wrote an open letter to seafarers. Mr. Lim stated, “Since the Coronavirus became a global pandemic and most of the world has gone into lockdown, we have all had to adjust swiftly to new ways of living and working. But, for many seafarers, this has plunged them into difficult situations that could not have been imagined in modern times. I, personally, have been deeply touched by the many stories we have heard from individual seafarers of the challenges, hardships and sacrifices that seafarers have made to keep the global supply chain moving while helping the global population. These are challenging times for many seafarers. Both their physical and mental health is being put to the test.”
We at Mercy Ships Canada gratefully acknowledge the contributions seafarers are making to the global community by ensuring the global supply chain remains operational during this crucial time. In addition, we offer our prayerful support and encouragement to all crew members and their families as they navigate the hard realities this crisis presents. Their sacrifices have not gone unnoticed and we stand with them.
We encourage readers to learn more about the vital cause here: https://www.seafarerswelfare.org/news/2020/launch-of-emergency-funding-campaign-for-developing-world-seafarers