One of SMOU’s commitment for its 70th Anniversary is to live out its ‘Caring and Sharing’ core value by engaging in ‘Seven Acts of Caring & Sharing’ to impact lives within the community and its members.
The 1st Act involved giving school supplies to children from lower income families of My First Skool Jalan Sultan Centre, who were beginning their school term at that time. The 2nd Act saw SMOU running a clothes donation drive to make a difference in the lives of the fishermen at the Jurong Fishery Port.
In the 3rd Caring & Sharing initiative, SMOU turned their attention to seafarers, appreciating the key workers of the maritime industry. Seafarers still face headwinds when it comes to crew change, albeit the improvement since the beginning of the pandemic last year.
Despite the continuous challenge posed to them, seafarers continue to keep the global supply chain moving so that citizens of the world can have their daily necessities.
Cards prepared by children from My First Skool
Coinciding with the Day of the Seafarer 2021, and to thank seafarers for their sacrifices and invaluable contribution, Young SMOU packed 700 care packs for seafarers containing items that will be useful for them during their voyages on board ships. Items in the care packs include a chocolate bar, a global sim card containing 5GB of data sponsored by Sim4Crew, snacks, hand wash and sanitizer, disposable and reusable masks, massage ball, and a thank you card prepared by children from My First Skool.
Assistant General Secretary Gwee Guo Duan and Young SMOU Chairman Dominic Yong headed down to Seacare hotel, which is a dedicated crew change facility in Singapore, to present care packs to seafarers who were checking out from serving their isolation periods.
SMOU also reached out to their social partner – The Mission to Seafarers Singapore (MTSS) – to distribute Care Packs to seafarers whose ships were calling at the port of Singapore.
With the safety of everyone in mind, MTSS Honorary Secretary Vitalii Chaika and MTSS Singapore Port Chaplain Toh Soon Kok came down to the SMOU office to receive the Care Packs. Presenting the packs were SMOU President Rahim Jaffar, SMOU General Secretary Mary Liew, and SMOU Treasurer Yong Soon Huat. “SMOU stands with our seafarers to support them through the pandemic. While crew change and vaccination for seafarers are being continually addressed, we will also look at preparing our seafarers for the future of work so that they can have a fair future,” said Ms Mary Liew.
The staff of MTSS brought the Care Packs to Jurong Port to deliver to ships that called at the port. As they brought the boxes of care packs to the ships, seafarers received the packs with gratitude and smiles behind their masks. Mr Vitalii Chaika noted, “The support that SMOU provides for seafarers is heartwarming. As seafarers call at the Singapore Port, the care packs would be able to show them that there are people and organisations out there that remember them during the pandemic and would care to acknowledge their hard work.”
Finally, SMOU dedicated Care Packs to thank active seafaring members. Along with SMOU’s Day of the Seafarer message to members, SMOU invited members to register for a pack and collect them from the SMOU One Stop Service Centre.
The plight of seafarers in the pandemic is still present, and as the world rides out the challenges of COVID-19, let us not forget seafarers and their impact on the global trade and the everyday things we have at home.