Apostleship of the Sea is celebrating 50 years of providing help to seafarers visiting Ivory Coast. AoS has maintained its presence in the port of Abidjan throughout the recent civil wars in the west African country.
When the port was closed during the civil war last year, which claimed 3,000 lives, and port chaplain Father Celestin Ikomba (pictured) was unable to visit ships, he held meetings with opposing sides to try and bring about peace. Father Celestin and his team of volunteers visit between 20 and 40 ships a week in Abidjan. Apostleship of the Sea founded the ports seamens club, which opened in 1963.
William Azuh, head of the Africa section, technical co-operation division of the International Maritime Organisation, praised Apostleship of the Sea for its great humanitarian work.
"Apostleship of the Seas pastoral service to the seafarers has contributed in no small measure to the enhancement of world trade. Through your work and care, the world seafarers are comforted by the fact that they have families away from home, " he said.