Singapore-based volunteers from fuel treatment specialist Aderco and from the Singapore chapter of the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) gathered on Monday (9 November) to place the finishing touches on a mutually organised charity drive for seafarers.
The group was present at Aderco’s Singapore office to pack approximately 200 care packages which will be sent to crew still stuck onboard vessels for an extended period of time due to the pandemic when the ships visit Singapore port.
The initiative was started by Yukie Teo, Sales Support Manager at Aderco, who learned about the plight of numerous ship crew from her fleet management and bunker surveying contacts.
“I was planning to go onboard vessels to distribute company brochures for visiting vessels in September and initially came up with the idea of giving a sanitisation kit and pen as part of a care package from Aderco,” she shared with Singapore bunker publication Manifold Times.
“However, further conversation with surveyor contacts found several crew to be in extremely low morale due to extended time onboard. A discussion with my boss led to an expansion of the care package budget; we are now in its fifth iteration and plan to carry out this campaign till end of the year.
“The Singapore chapter of WISTA is now onboard and they have been a great help in this endeavour. I will like to take this opportunity to thank WISTA members and the generous contributions from the many anonymous donors. Thank you for your support!”
Magdalene Chew, President of WISTA Singapore, personally helped pack items into the care packages.
“Crew members are essential workers but are generally more overlooked than other categories of workers. As much as 300,000 seafarers are still stuck onboard ships [according to the International Transport Workers’ Federation] and many have been living on vessels for over a year,” said Chew, also a Director of AsiaLegal LLC.
“Our ExCo member Yukie told us about this initiative their company is undertaking and we are very happy to take part. We have asked for donations towards the purchase of tea, chocolate beverages and more for crew visiting Singapore port.
“WISTA Singapore will match dollar for dollar for every donation received up to $3000; we will also help to pack the items for Aderco to deliver to the crew.”
Victoria McFarlane, Assistant Claims Manager at Britannia P&I, was among WISTA members present at the packing session.
“Seafarers transport about 90% of the world’s goods and they make sure that we have everything that we need so we want to do what we can to help them as well,” she says.
“Even now, there are so many seafarers still stuck on ships unable to disembark due to various restrictions in place due to Covid. They cannot see their families and are so far from home.”
The item list for each Aderco care package include:
WISTA Singapore members present during the packing session are (left to right):
Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 11 November, 2020
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