As every year, we are raising money for DUCKDALBEN:
Seaman's Mission. That sounds very weighty.
We don't actually do any "missionizing" – but what do we do?
Of course we're a Christian Seaman's Mission, but we're less concerned with the Christian religion per se as we are with values that transcend the individual beliefs. For us, brotherly love is very important: the warmth, and conveying the feeling that there's somebody there who can help without taking you to the cleaners. We want to be a family even though many seamen are far from their homes.
But let's take it one step at a time. For 25 years now, our Seaman's Club DUCKDALBEN has been in the port of Hamburg to offer seamen a bit of leisure time away from their ship. And why is that so important? Well, have you every tried to live for several months on your place of work? This is the daily life of a seaman. At the club we offer many things that aren't otherwise available on board. Seamen can easily contact their families through the Internet or telephone. There's also WiFi, SIM cards and of course computers for seamen who don't have their own laptops. We also have a shop with everything that a seaman's heart desires – from sweets to hygienic articles. Of course there's one thing that a club can't do without: the bar. What's better than enjoying a cold beer or soft drink after the working day is over? Water, tea, coffee, salty snacks and cookies are even free. With their wages, many seamen support an extended family at home, and at the club they can quickly and safely transfer money to their home countries.
At DUCKDALBEN the religion we mentioned above is present in a very special way: in our multi-religious room. All major religions are here, and each has its own altar where believers can pray. Arranged in a large oval, these small "tables" symbolize something much more important: the understanding and unity of the various religions.
In our largest room there are billiard tables, table football and a dartboard. There's also a comfortable corner sofa for chatting or making music on the numerous instruments distributed around the club. Sports can be pursued on our table tennis tables and on our outdoor sports field. For quieter hours there is a fireplace library, and for livelier times there's a Karaoke room. The work of a seaman is associated with injury and disease. For this reason, every Monday a doctor and nurse stop by and examine seamen who are seeking medical advice. For free, of course, like so many things that we offer.
If you're asking yourself why so we go to such effort to help seamen there's a very simple answer: The life of a seaman or seawoman on board is very hard. And these persons are not just working for themselves but for all of us – in order that we can continue to today's modern consumption. Not only do they have to live where they work; as modern lay times are much too short for an extended shore leave, a ship can often seem more like a prison.
Spiritual welfare is also important. We help seamen who have family, financial or other problems, or who simply want to talk about God and the world. We simply sit down with the seamen, have fun with them, and often give them a renewed courage. We try to make the life of seamen and women more enjoyable, to give them a small piece of home far from their homelands, and simply to let them know that we are there for them! And every day we experience it time and again, when the most widely differing persons from nationalities all over the world sit down together, enjoy each other's company, have fun – and their laughter and cheerfulness fill the entire club.
Your donation is important. It supports us and it supports the seamen.
donated by "Fußballspiel Bankers vs Shipowners"