All At Sea Features Sailors for Hope Preparing for 2018 Hurricane Season

“Marine-Manned Aid Organizations Ready for 2018 Hurricane Season – British Virgin Islands”

by Carol M. Bareuther – As originally appearing in All At Sea

The number of hurricane relief organizations that sprang up and helped hard-hit Caribbean islands in the wake of last year’s storms was heartwarming. One of these, Sailors for Hope, drew extensively on the love of sailors globally for this region to create a network of assistance. What is noteworthy is that nearly a year later, many organizations such as Sailors for Hope are still in operation. These operations have continually changed focus to adapt to the needs of those they serve, from supplying generators and making roof repairs in the immediate aftermath of the storms, to helping with normal everyday needs today. Most of all, with the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season starting on June 1st, it’s heartening to know these organizations are ready to help should disaster strike again.

“Sailing, by its very nature, requires the best of you,” says Don Makowiecki, an East Patchogue, New York, USA-based US Sailing International Judge, Senior Judge and Umpire, who has officiated at many Caribbean regattas and who founded Sailors for Hope last fall. “Sailors must learn to be creative, take risks and keep a steady helm. What I’m saying here is that sailors have goals, to win a race, to get to the next port etc. Once that goal is defined it usually is achieved. In this case, we all worked in our own way to achieve our goals, one
of which was to get relief aid to the British Virgin Islands right after the storm.”

Right from the start, Makowiecki’s team of on-island and stateside sailors brought their collective talents to the table. These included the BVI’s Judy Petz and Puerto Rico’s Diana Emmanuelli on communications, the BVI’s Chris Haycraft as a port agent and principal in two shipping companies, the USA’s sailing journalist and website writer, Michelle Slade, the USA’s Luiz Kahl of Yachtscoring.com to source supplies, the UK’s sailing photographer Ingrid
Abery, and the BVI’s Aristocat charter owners, Scott and Brittany Meyers on fundraising.

The scope of support quickly branched out as Makowiecki’s Caribbean sailing friends recommended local help organizations that could benefit. Many of these groups had, and continue to have, limited resources and presence for raising funds even before the hurricanes. One of these is the BVI’s Family Support Network, which aids those involved in domestic violence. Sailors for Hope donated generators for many single parent households and financially made it possible to feed 3,000-plus family members through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

“Hopefully, our page on the Sailors for Hope website will give us a broader audience and likely more donations,” says board president Judith Charles. Adopt a Roof and Youth Sailing in the BVI, Project Promise in St. Croix, USVI, and the K1 Britannia Foundation in St. Maarten, are other organizations for which Sailors for Hope currently raises awareness and funds.

Looking ahead, Slade says, “I think organizations like Sailors for Hope, which have deep seated personal connections throughout the Caribbean, is the most efficient way to reach those in need following a disaster. Sometimes working directly with local people on the ground who really understand exactly who needs what and when is more efficient than the big NGO efforts, although clearly there is a place of those organizations also.”

For more information, visit: www.sailorsforhope.com.

Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.

K1 Britannia Foundation Adds Apprenticeship Programs

K1 Britannia Foundation announced two new apprenticeship programs to help secure jobs for Island youths.

Following Irma, it has been a challenge to secure jobs for our youths. There are relatively few jobs currently available on the island. The biggest job markets for youth are in construction and repairing of boats. To help address these needs, we have set up two apprenticeship programs.

For more information about K1 Britannia Foundation Apprenticeship Programs or to donate  click here.

$26,000 Grant to Sailors For Hope & Adopt A Roof BVI from BVI Immediate Relief Fund

Sailors For Hope today announced a $26,000 grant earmarked for Adopt a Roof BVI from the BVI Immediate Relief Fund. This increases total funds raised to $31,000. The funds will be used to support continued relief and aid projects for the victims of hurricanes Irma and Maria in the BVI. 

Continue reading “$26,000 Grant to Sailors For Hope & Adopt A Roof BVI from BVI Immediate Relief Fund”

The Rebuild Continues for Youth Sailing in the BVI

It has been a fantastic few weeks for the BVI and particularly the sailing community so here’s a round up of our recent activities…

On Saturday 24 March we organized a Sport Relief Sailing Mile at Nanny Cay raising $386 for the youth sailing programme.  Much fun was had by the near 40 participants ranging from BVI Youth Team sailors, parents and several who took to the water for the very first time, including HE the Governor, Gus Jaspert who took an Opti out for a spin!

Continue reading “The Rebuild Continues for Youth Sailing in the BVI”