The Abu Dhabi Ports Company has hosted students from New York University Abu Dhabi and the British International School Abu Dhabi, along with representatives from the Angel Appeal charity, helping them to hand out more than 200 care packages to seafarers at the Free Port in Abu Dhabi.
Students from NYU Abu Dhabi packed the parcels for the seafarers. ADPC liaised with the vessels in the port and their crews and then students from both NYU Abu Dhabi and BISAD worked with the Angel Appeal charity to distribute them in the Free Port and New Free Port.
This is the first time that the charity has handed out care parcels in Abu Dhabi, but ADPC is keen to increase the welfare facilities on offer to visiting seafarers
The Angel Appeal is a UAE maritime charity, supported by the Al Maktoum foundation. The free packages contained t-shirts, sandals, soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste, biscuits and phone cards.
The items are intended to support seafarers who may spend many months at a time at sea, unable to come ashore.
Abdulkareem Al Masabi, Vice President Ports Operations, ADPC said: “ADPC is keen to support initiatives like this that improve seafarers’ quality of life. We welcome the ‘Angel Appeal’ to the Free Port and we thank the students for their work wrapping and distributing the seafarers’ parcels.”
“The Angel Project has been running for many years in the UAE and has made a difference in the lives of thousands of seafarers,” he explained.
"So many of the amenities we enjoy here are direct and indirectly provided through the hard work of the seafarers,” commented Anna Rosa Eckert, a third year student at NYU Abu Dhabi.
“Volunteering our time to wrap these gifts and distribute them to the seafarers was a wonderful opportunity for us to show them our appreciation," she added.
Dr. Paul Burt, Regional Director, Angel Appeal/Mission to Seafarers, added: “The Angel Appeal is very grateful for the support they have received from ADPC, NYU Abu Dhabi and the British International School – Abu Dhabi.”
“This combination of welfare and maritime professionals working with committed members of the wider community is an excellent example of what can be done to improve the stressful and sometime dangerous lives of seafarers. It is a powerful demonstration of solidarity with those whose working lives make our standard of living what it is,” he concluded.
The organisation behind the Angel Appeal is the UK based charity the Mission to Seafarers which started its welfare work in the UAE in 1962.
The Angel Appeal has been set up to raise funds to build and operate the Flying Angel boat. The Flying Angel boat travels through UAE waters providing food and fresh water for those in need, offering internet and phone access, a book, magazine and DVD library and welfare support to bring comfort and a certain level of normality to the lives of international seafarers.