Quietly, mostly unnoticed, seafarers keep the wheels of the world in motion. Throughout the world, they face hardship and danger every day to keep our global economy afloat. Their work is hard and the level of responsibility is high.
Every year, June 25th is celebrated globally as the Day of the Seafarer, an official United Nations observance day. This year, once again, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is asking people everywhere to show their appreciation, through social media, for seafarers and their contribution to global prosperity.
At the heart of this year’s campaign is the simple sentence "Seafarers brought me....". IMO is inviting everyone to complete the sentence with a word of their choice and post it on social media, adding the hashtag "#thankyouseafarers". The missing word can be anything that came by sea: from the cars people drive, the food people eat, the clothes people wear, the gadgets they use or the furniture they sit on.
To help spread the campaign globally, IMO’s media and communications team has developed a toolkit, which features a variety of different content items and materials all designed to reinforce the campaign’s message.
The Day of the Seafarer 2014 toolkit is now available online on the IMO website.
The toolkit includes:
• a short animated film that celebrates the unseen connections between those who serve at sea and the things we take for granted in our everyday lives
• a video message from IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu, filmed amid the bustle of one of Europe’s busiest ports
• text version of the Secretary-General’s message in several languages
• Day of the Seafarer logos in several languages
• Day of the seafarer banners and badges
• stickers featuring the “Seafarers brought me…” motto
In previous years, participants have used the online toolkit to create their own campaign content, ranging from a simple photograph posted on social media through to more imaginative uses such as banners on public transport or cakes, baked in the form of the campaign logo! Blogs, videos and photo collections are other ways to participate in the campaign. IMO is hoping that the 2014 toolkit will spark similar innovation and looks forward to sharing the results on social media.
IMO is encouraging use of all social media to spread the campaign but the major focus will be on Twitter and Facebook. The campaign’s own Twitter handle is @seafarerday and the IMO handle @IMOHQ, can also be used. The campaign hashtag is "#thankyouseafarers".
One exciting new feature of the 2014 campaign is a “virtual wall”, hosted on the IMO website. Here, people are invited to write down the things that seafarers brought them and which they value the most. The result is a fascinating insight into the huge variety of goods and commodities that are brought by sea and which make a tangible, positive difference to people’s lives.
All those who join the campaign will be adding their voice to the millions of others who, on this one day, take the time to stop and thank those who work so hard, in the face of great hardship, to improve the lives of everyone.