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Seafarer charities in Philippines typhoon relief efforts

Seafarer charities in Philippines typhoon relief efforts
Seafarer charities are coming to the aid of the Philippines in the wake of the super typhoon Haiyan, which caused mass devastation and left 10,000 dead.

The Sailors' Society has launched an emergency relief appeal. With the Philippines being the world’s largest supplier of international seafarers many have family and loved ones affected by the disaster, and in many case the seafarers are thousands of miles away desperate to know that their families are safe.

“We are receiving reports in from our Filipino chaplains of huge numbers of people in need of emergency welfare. Without your support we cannot provide the resources to get this seafaring community back up on its feet,” the Sailors' Society said.

The charity related relate how Ailton de Souza, its chaplain in Vitoria, Brazil, helped one crew to call home. Although the seafarer had lost his house his wife and daughters were safe. “Lives are more important. As for the house, we can build another,” he said.

The ability for Filipino seafarers to contact their families and loved ones was also a key concern for The Mission to Seafarers (MtS) and has set up a new emergency communications fund, which will give free access to Wi-Fi and hand out phone cards to Filipino seafarers in its directly funded international centres.

 “With so many Filipino crews around the world, we are very anxious to ensure that any crew member who needs to call home in an emergency can do so, regardless of the ability to pay. At the Mission, we have offered an immediate bursary for 7 days, to MtS centres, to enable them to fund free calls home, either by connecting to Wi-Fi or to fund the distribution of free phone cards, SIMs or top up cards," said Ken Peters, director of justice and welfare for MtS.

If you would like to donate to the Sailors' Society appeal please click this link.

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