While seafaring is a noble profession, life at sea can be demanding. It takes a physical and mental toll on global maritime professionals, the unsung heroes in the front lines of the maritime industry. The COVID pandemic has highlighted our seafarers’ struggles, placing a particular spotlight on feelings of uncertainty and anxieties about the changing demands on seafarers.
Keeping seafarer emotional well-being front and center, Synergy Marine Group (SMG) and Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc. (PTC) have partnered to bring the seafarer community together as one under WeTeam. It is a faith neutral service that is absolutely confidential, free, 24/7, available in over 14 languages including Tagalog and open to every seafarer across the globe beyond the PTC and Synergy Group.
Speaking about WeTeam, Captain Rajesh Unni, Founder and CEO of the Synergy Group shared, “Well-being for seafarers has been our focus from our inception itself and this pandemic has only exacerbated matters therefore calling for people to recognize the urgency and to act now.” WeTeam is a progression from iCall, a service of the Synergy Marine Group. Captain Unni went on to expound. “Having started almost three years ago with iCall in India, we at Synergy have the experience to understand the seafaring community and their challenges from up close. We see the numbers growing alarmingly on high levels of stress related concerns and the concern for their safety and wellbeing has proportionately risen too. With 25% of the seafaring community coming from the Philippines, it is impossible not to be there, and we could not ask for a better partner than PTC to embark on this journey to help the seafarers and build the next generation too.”
On being able to address the needs of the 400,000 Filipino global maritime professionals on-board the world’s fleet at any one time, PTC CEO Gerardo Borromeo said, “We appreciate the opportunity to come together to develop a platform for the total wellness and care of our seafarers. Like Synergy, PTC has always felt that it is the people themselves on these vessels who do the amazing heavy lifting that moves the world.” Borromeo continued, “To all our valued seafarers, you are the heart and soul of a ship, the beating heart that enables the maritime industry to move the world. Through WeTeam, our maritime specialist counselors are here for you; they are here to listen, and help.”
Reflecting further, Captain Unni said, “Coming together with PTC is amazing because it has a very longstanding and trusted footprint in the Philippines, which very few organizations have. More than anything, we are totally aligned in our values and in how we value our seafarers. No matter what we do, even with all the disruption, people will always be at the core of everything we do. That said, we wholeheartedly welcome all willing, but like-minded and with similar values as Partners to join in our initiative.”
Borromeo added, “We thank Synergy for your leadership and your vision in bringing this together. With what Synergy has done in its impressive growth and what PTC has been able to do in its 42 years, it feels like a 2+2 = 5 situation. We are excited about the possibilities that we can bring forward together to make a positive impact for our global maritime professionals.”
WeTeam is an Emotional Wellbeing and Support Helpline that comes to our noble seafarers through a partnership built on a combined 50 years of global maritime experience in prioritizing seafarer care and well-being above all.