Empowering Women in Maritime: Seafarer shares story on new job at sea

A young Sierra Leonean female seafarer, Regina Conteh-Khali, shares her heart-warming story of how a relationship between African Women in Shipping (WIMAfrica) and the Sea Shepherd (Shipping Company) gave her an opportunity to be back at sea doing a job she loves, seafaring.

 The Sea Shepherd is mainly concerned with efforts at stopping illegal fishing for countries and to secure seafarers for bigger vessel owners.

A few months ago, Conteh-Khali responded to a call by WIMAfrica’s Continental President (CP), Mrs. Jean Chiazor Anishere, for members who are seafarers to send in their curriculum vitae.

Her new journey began when the shipping company contacted her and offered her the job at sea.

She shared her experience in gratitude saying: “A few months ago our CP asked the female seafarers in this group to send their CVs. Being a Seafarer, I sent my CV to her, because I had stopped going to sea for a while as there were no shipping companies recruiting seafarers in my country anymore.

“Getting a vessel or company to hire seafarers in Sierra Leone is challenging, not just for women.

“A lady called Bea (the crew coordinator for Sea Shepherd) contacted me some weeks ago and today we had a video session. She has offered me a job and I am so excited.

“Thank you so much CP, I am grateful to you and every other woman working tirelessly to empower women in the maritime industry.

“It is still my dream to become the first female captain in Sierra Leone and you have just made that possible for me. I’m happy to go back to sea.”

Excited too, the WIMAfrica President said connecting with Capt. Peter Hammardstedt, the Director of Campaigns in Sea Shepherd, at a Blue Economy Conference in Tunisia, gave the opportunity for discussions on the need for job placement for WIMAfrica’s members who needed jobs at sea.

She said: “He told me to send him their names and certificates; which I did. I sent him over sixty names and certificates from nine African Countries, who are members of WIMAfrica, Nigeria inclusive.

“So we are hopeful that we will get more of our girls on board ships soon.”

Conteh-Khali’s experience matches the 2019 World Maritime Day focus of “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community.”

Report first published on onepageafrica.com

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