As COVID-19 continuously wreaks havoc on the lives of seafarers, many families and dependants of stranded seafaring men and women have equally needed assistance during their absence.
In many cases, seafarers who are currently stranded at sea are the sole provider of families and dependants back home. Having the breadwinners stranded out at sea or in foreign ports has a considerable knock-on effect on the emotional and economic welfare of their families at home.
The Mission to Seafarer’s Flying Angel Campaign, launched last year as a direct response to COVID-19, aims to provide vital services not only to seafarers but also their families. One such example is the Family Support Network programme in the port city of Tuticorin, India.
Now in its sixth phase, the response programme – which is facilitated by Revd Isaac Franklin and his team of volunteers – identifies and provides families in need with essential commodities such as food, while earnings cannot be sent home, and PPE to protect them against the fast-spreading virus. The Tuticorin team has provided vital aid to over 1,000 seafarers’ families who have been unable to work due to the challenges of joining vessels.
Additionally, Revd Isaac and his team have made sure that help can be provided while government guidelines on social distancing and curfews are adhered to, to guarantee safe support.
Revd Isaac Franklin commented: “Providing seafarers’ families with vital supplies is essential, especially when most of these households have a single earner.
“The COVID-19 response programme, which we implemented with the help of local volunteers and parish priests has made a significant difference to the seafaring community as well as 66 families from the fishing community.”
With the pandemic still affecting seafarers in 2021, The Mission to Seafarers is always grateful to its supporters who have continued to donate and volunteer, especially through these difficult times. If you would like to support our cause and make a donation which will go towards helping seafarers across the world, you can do so by clicking here.