Funding your port welfare committee (PWC)

Your port welfare committee will need money to start and operate. Although some expenses are unavoidable, you will often find that organisations are happy to donate or lend equipment, facilities or services to the PWC.

So while you should seek funding ‘in kind’ – with people and organisations providing materials and equipment to the PWC, you will also need to arrange a permanent source of funding so that your PWC can start projects and complete tasks.

If your PWC is funded by a levy, you will need to show how funds are used.

Mixing income sources

Successful port welfare committees often find funds from several different sources. They include:

  • Compulsary port levy
  • Voluntary port levy
  • Voluntary ship’s agent levy
  • Port authority sponsorship
  • Ship owner sponsorship
  • Donations

Seeking business sponsors

Ship owners, port operators and other businesses that rely on seafarers are all potential sponsors of port welfare committees. Seafarers play a vital role in a multi-million dollar industry, and their happiness and wellbeing is crucial to the safe and efficient conduct of trade. By sponsoring PWCs the shipping industry can ensure regular, reliable services for seafarers. PWCs provide an easy, affordable way for the industry to improve the quality of life for their seafaring men and women.

By reminding businesses of the benefits of a PWC, and of the value of being publically linked to the good work of the PWC you should find that many businesses are eager to contribute financially to the PWC.

PWC funding: examples from around the world

The Port of Antwerp, Belgium provides transport for seafarers into and out of the centre of town. It also helps to fund the large seafarers’ centre in town (Internationaal Zeemanshuis Antwerpen – the IZA).

In Pointe Noire, Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), land is provided rent free.

In the port of Tema, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has provided four computers for the seafarers centre and a gift of USD 5,000 per year.

In Yokohama, Japan, there is a welfare board and the port authority has provided a subsidy for the seafarers centre for many years.

The Johor Port Authority, Malaysia, provides a seafarers centre within a complex which includes a restaurant, bank, internet café and shops for all port users. It also provides a vehicle which drives round the port transporting seafarers to and from the centre.

The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) provides a grant of Sing $ 100,000 per year to assist the missions in their work with seafarers. This grant provides for all the materials needed by the ship visitors and welfare workers, providing the missions find the people who will do the work at their own cost. The MPA is very active in seafarers’ welfare, sponsoring sports weeks, distributing parcels to 600 ships at Christmas and in many other ways.

In the Port of Busan, South Korea, land is provided rent-free.

The Port of London Authority in the United Kingdom provides an annual grant of £50,000 towards welfare work with seafarers on the Thames.
Bremerhaven, Germany, has a voluntary port levy of Euros 20 per ship. About 70% of ships contribute to this fund which provides support for the German Seamen’s Missions centre in the port.

Immingham and Felixstowe in the United Kingdom both have voluntary port levies of £10 per ship. In Felixstowe it is estimated that about 70% of the ships calling contribute to this fund.

In Kenya, the Mombasa Mission to Seafarers, a large thriving centre, is supported by the ships agents themselves. They give USD 70 per ship of their agency fees as a levy to the club. In return, they are members and use it as a club which provides good meals and drinks where they can entertain their clients. This voluntary arrangement is supported by a large majority of agencies in the port.

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