AoS in Great Britain is to twin with AoS in South Africa to help it develop its network of ship visitors.
The partnership has been set up following a visit to South Africa by John Green, AoS GB development director.
AoS has been serving seafarers in South Africa since the early 1930s.
It works in three ports, Durban, Cape Town, and Port Elizabeth, and is planning to establish a presence in Saldana Bay, a port that contains a fish factory and a direct rail link to local mines.
Fr Herman Giraldo, the AoS chaplain to the port of Durban, also runs two parishes and is director of a children’s orphanage.
He hopes to go to the Philippines to learn Tagalog to help him communicate better with Filipino seafarers.
Elsewhere, in Cape Town, AoS ship visitor Nick Barends likes to give seafarers a break from their ships by taking them in the mini bus to see local vineyards and olive farms.
“What AoS in South Africa does is very similar to what we do here in Britain,” said John.
“In Britain we have an extensive network of volunteer ship visitors, who enable us to provide much practical help to seafarers. We want to help AoS in South Africa to develop something similar.”
Seafarers pose with John (in middle) and AoS South Africa chaplains and ship visitors.