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How WIMAfrica, Sea Shepherd connection granted me job at sea- Conteh-Khali

Regina Conteh-Khali

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.”

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