To quite a few kids life has shown its merciless, dark side already. An organization called “sunshine4kids” aims to bring a bit of hope (and sunshine) back into their lifes.
One or both parents dead, themselves or their siblings fatally ill, abused in the past, parents drug addicts, the list could go on. Some kids have experienced and lived through extremely negative events during their first years on this planet. The effect this might have had on their personality I can only try to imagine.
sunshine4kids wants to bring back to those young ones self-confidence, hope and smiles. They try to distract them from their day-to-day environment, team them up with kids with a similar background. Also, engage them in a slightly challenging outdoor activity. This is the main plan and idea behind an organization called sunshine4kids.
sunshine4kids – a bit of background info
The founder, Gaby Schaefer, knows what she is talking about. Some years ago she lost her husband, her kids their father. Travelling, outdoor activity, new countries, new people and friends helped them back then. Based on that she has developed the concept for sunshine4kids.
Amongst other activities organised by sunshine4kids, the so-called “Fleet of Hope” is the main event run throughout the year. Kids and teens, between twelve and eighteen, sail in a large flotilla of something between ten to thirty ships. Numbers for this flotilla are growing steadily.
The overall timeframe for various individual legs is April to October, and sailing areas include the Baltic Sea, North Sea, the Mediterranean and parts of the Atlantic. Also usually coming along are teachers, social pedagogues, psychologists, medical staff and – it does help – a couple of skippers.
Objectives Fleet of Hope
The Fleet of Hope’s main objectives are to:
- assimilate the experiences of children in difficult personal situations
- practice tolerance, ability to work as a team and grow a sense of responsibility
- strengthen children’s social abilities
- protection against contempt and abuse
- provide a basis for finding new friends
- reflect and cope with personal experiences supervised by educationists and psychologists.
The trip is and will remain free for all kids participating, all adults supporting the Fleet of Hope do so as volunteers. If you are interested in supporting sunshine4kids as a sponsor, you can choose between a direct payment, individual sponsorship of a kid or a berth, or sponsor (and brand) an entire boat. Or a couple of boats. Or the entire flotilla.
More details are available on the website of sunshine4kids. It is, however, in German, so please feel free to send me a message and I’ll help wherever I can.