RCM SEAMANSHIP TRAINING PROJECT WITH PROPELLER CLUB
The Seaman’s Training Fund of the Rotary Club of Manila originated with a grant from the Norwegian Embassy of Manila through Rotarian / Ambassador Lars Tangeraas more than 12 years ago. The amount turned over to RCM was Pesos 400,000 last Rotary Year 2009-2010. In the past, the Seamanship Training Committee was utilizing only the interest accruing from the seed money to fund the Seamanship Training Programme.
RCM scholars were enrolled at Don Bosco Makati. However, their training was limited due to lack of funding and only 1 or 2 of the RCM young scholars found positions on ocean-going ships.
In order to make the programme more effective, a tie up was undertaken between Rotary Club of Manila and the Propeller Club of Manila, which the undersign has been the President since 1999. This non-profit organization has been in existence since 1971 and its membership is made up of business executives who are connected in one way or another with the maritime industry in the Philippines. With funding from overseas entities, the Propeller Club runs a fully fledged Seaman training programme for young men from disadvantaged families. The Club’s students are also schooled at Don Bosco Makati but undergo additional training to ensure they become fully qualified by the time they graduate. In particular the Propeller Club has focused on improving standard of English language of their students which is a pre-requisite of any shipping company when they are employing crew for ocean-going ships. The Propeller Club’s programme has been very successful since its inception in 2005. There have been 62 graduates from the Programme so far and 75 young men are presently under training. In fact the shipping companies who have signed on are all represented in the membership roster of the Propeller Club. The funds to support the Propeller Club programme have come from the Australian Government (AusAid), TK Foundation (US) and shipping companies Swire (Hong Kong) and Mideast Shipping Management (Dubai).
With the undertaking of the Memorandum of Agreement between Rotary Club of Manila and Propeller Club, the latter will award financially the top three performers of each batch of their training programme who will be known as the RCM Awardees for a period of four years. This awarding scheme will provide incentive to the sponsored students to excel during the period of training and will raise the bar for the whole programme.