Capt Anuj Velankar, Senior Loss Prevention Advisor at UK P&I Club, travelled to Manila with The Mission to Seafarers to visit the Family Support Network (FSN) supported by the Club’s £20,000 donation in 2017. They were able to witness the impact their charitable giving had on the lives of seafarers and their families.
Capt Velankar met the staff and volunteer team in Manila, as well as other Chapter representatives, who has been able to reach more families with funding from UK P&I Club. They heard stories about the direct interventions they had already been able to make and the projects they were launching.
The work of Dr Michael Angelo J Marquez, Social Hygiene Physician and FSN Board Member in charge of Medical support was of particular interest. Dr Marquez spoke to the visiting group about a new strain of HIV which has started to infect Filipinos. He plans to provide the education and the proper medical treatment that will support seafarers in managing the disease so that infected seafarers can lead a normal life and still go to sea without risk of further complications.
Capt Velankar, accompanied by Jan Webber, Director of Development at the Mission, also joined volunteers in providing food and drink to struggling seafarers at Luneta Park, and later they attended a conference for families at an informative session. They also met the teams responsible for providing Legal and Financial support to the families in the network.
Jan Webber, Director of Development at The Mission to Seafarers, explained: “The Philippines Family Support Network (FSN) is a vital service to the families of seafarers, who can rely on the network to support them whilst their seafaring husbands are at sea. It means that small issues can be resolved as a group rather than trouble seafarers who are on the other side of the world. This is very important to the welfare of both parties, as we often hear from seafarers that their mental health can be affected by not being at home to help when their families are experiencing tough times.
“This work would not have been possible without the financial support of UK P&I Club. We know the opportunity to see first-hand the difference that they are making to the lives of seafarers and their families shows the true impact of their gift.”
Capt Velankar, Senior Loss Prevention Advisor at UK P&I, commented: “Vising the FSN project was a hugely moving experience for me. Charitable giving can often seem abstract but I was able to hear the stories of seafarers, their wives and their children and how our donation has improved their lives and their wellbeing. It was also troubling to hear about a potential serious medical issue for seafarers and their families in this new strain of HIV. However, I believe that Dr Marquez’s early interventions – with our support – will mitigate much of the potential for harm.”
UK P&I provided one year’s funding of £20,000 directly to The Mission to Seafarers Philippines Family Support Network project in 2017. It is one of many projects providing direct support to seafarers around the world and their families made possible by corporate direct donations to the mission.