ITF Seafarers’ Trust Pledges Ongoing Support for WMU Fellowships
On 4 May, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University (WMU), and Tomas Abrahamsson, Acting Head of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust and 1st Vice Chair of ITF Seafarers’ Section. The MoU sets out the framework under which the Trust will continue to provide fellowship funding for WMU students over the next five years to support global maritime capacity building.
“We welcome the continued cooperation with the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, a long-standing supporter and partner of WMU,” stated President Doumbia-Henry. “The work of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust is of critical importance, and their commitment to global maritime capacity building directly supports the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Our mutual cooperation will continue building the impressive network of WMU alumni who are uniformly interpreting maritime Conventions and other international regulatory instruments to ensure safe and secure shipping on clean oceans,” she added.
Mr. Abrahamsson stated, “I am delighted to sign this MoU with WMU to cement our long-standing and very productive cooperation. There are already 119 ITF Seafarers' Trust fellows, who on returning home take up senior positions in the maritime and port administrations or in maritime academies, where they make an important difference to lives of seafarers and port workers in their countries. We are pleased to commit to selecting a further 25 fellows over the next five years. "
The ITF, through the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, has to date funded the education of 119 WMU students from 29 countries. The ITF additionally offers their fellows a week-long field study at the International Transport Workers’ Federation headquarters in London, which includes visits to Tilbury Port, seafarer welfare organizations and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The visit contributes to the strengthening of the ITF network of students and alumni.
The ITF Seafarers’ Trust was established in 1981 by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) as a charitable fund to provide funding for organizations working for the benefit of seafarers, irrespective of nationality, race or creed. It aims to ensure seafarers are legally protected, and to make sure they are healthier, less isolated, better represented and more connected with their loved ones and the people and organizations that care for their well-being, both at sea and in port. It prioritizes seafarers’ health, communications and transport, as well as mitigating the effects of criminalization and piracy.