Scalabrini Project “Seafarers and fishers worldwide: a vulnerable population to be supported and empowered in five Scalabrini Seafarer Centers”

This Project seeks to protect and empower seafarers, fishers and their families left behind in their countries of origin through the Scalabrini Centers of the Apostleship of the Sea, the Stella Maris in Kaohsiung and Taipei (Taiwan), Cape Town (South Africa), Montevideo (Uruguay) and Manila (Philippines).

The Centers provide several services to men and women in harbour cities such as: board and lodging, laundry area, training and educational programs, monitoring employment applications, advocacy and legal support, communication facilities (free Wi-Fi, computers, TV, SIM cards), recreation facilities, ship visits, hospital visits, prison visits, family visits, lending libraries, shopping etc.

It is intended to directly impact at least 155,000 seafarers, fishers, and their families in the five Centers.

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History

The AOS-CS network was created in October 2010, in Santos, Brazil. It encompasses ten Seafarer Centers located in Brazil, 1970 (2 centers); Argentina and Uruguay, 1974; Italy, 1982; the Philippines, 1984 (2 centers); South Africa, 1995; and Taiwan, 1996 (2 centers).

In 2018, the Centers received and served over 200,000 seafarers, fishers, cruise, shipping and fishing industries workers, as well as family members left behind, in search of information, shelter, and accompaniment.

These Centers provide men and women with board and lodging, laundry areas, training and educational programs, monitoring employment applications, advocacy and legal support, communication facilities (free wi-fi, computers, TV, SIM cards), recreation facilities, ship visits, hospital visits, prison visits, family visits, lending libraries, etc…

Mission

The Scalabrini Seafarer Centers want to address the needs of protection and prevent the abuses and violence committed against fishers and seafarers, which remain invisible since most of them happen in the high seas and far from the mainland. Fishers and seafarers are recruited in the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. They work for fishing vessel owners located in Taiwan and live on the Sea for months, even years, sailing the fishing areas of South Africa and going as far as Montevideo, in South America.

The Project supported by the Caritas Pro Vitae Gradu Charitable Trust

The Project supported by the Caritas Pro Vitae Gradu Charitable Trust will focus on the following programs in the five centers:

  • Protection: Improve the health care services, offering emergency services to seafarers and fishers;
  • Empowerment and Employment Access: Provide critical training and educational programs to seafarers and fishers, including labor seminars on “Know Your Rights”, “Mental Health, Reproductive Rights”, “Recruitment Processes, Policies, and Tools for Self-Advocacy”, “Job Readiness and Self-Image”, “Language Classes”, and “Intercultural Activities”;
  • Legal Assistance and Advocacy: Providing legal assistance and follow up on cases of abused seafarers and fishers, as well as to refer, translate, or address the case to the proper Governmental Office, in collaboration with other social organizations;
  • Capacity Building: Strengthen strategic coordination and networking, including geographical expansion and programmatic actions through the discussion on a long-term strategic plan and critical path and recommendations for the AOS-CS Network’s future.