Stella Maris secures grant to help Indian seafarers and families

More than 1,000 Indian families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will benefit from support in the port of Cochin after the global seafarers’ charity Stella Maris was awarded a major grant by The Seafarers International Relief Fund (SIRF).

This grant will enable the purchase of 10 oxygenators, which will prevent an estimated 60 lives a month being lost to the virus, amid a drastic shortage of oxygen tanks in hospitals there.

Stella Maris port chaplains and volunteers in Cochin will also purchase and distribute 1,100 food parcels for families devasted by COVID-19. Each parcel is sufficient to feed a family of five for one month.

Additionally, the funding will also be invested in post COVID-19 care, counselling and therapy.

The SIRF was established by major seafarer welfare charities and the wider shipping industry led by the International Chamber of Shipping to support seafarers and their families devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and is administered by The Seafarers’ Charity.

Martin Foley, Chief Executive Officer of Stella Maris, said, ‘Stella Maris is proud to be one of the first grantees of the Seafarers International Relief Fund to support seafarers and their families.

“This grant will save lives through the purchase of oxygenators, enable the support of over 1,100 families with food and provide essential rehabilitation to those directly affected by COVID-19. Thank you to all in the maritime community who gave to the Seafarers International Relief Fund who made this grant possible,” he said.