What is the RONA SAILING PROJECT
The RONA SAILING PROJECT was established over 50 years ago, initially as the LONDON SAILING PROJECT, by a very prominent finance minister in the UK Government of the day. The minister had held a very responsible role in government and his health was suffering through his age and through stress. His doctor recommended that he took up an activity to make him spend quality time away from the rigours of his job. The minister decided to buy a very old sailing yacht named the “Rona”. He located the “Rona” in the dock area of London, which was an area in which many poor and underprivalged people lived. One day, he was on board the “Rona” making some repairs when a group of local children saw him on his boat and, then, said to him “What are you doing , Mister?” The minister replied “I am fixing my boat”. The leader of the boys said “Why are you fixing your boat?”. The minister replied “So I can take it to sea” The persistent young boy asked “What does taking it to sea mean?”. The minister thought to himself it would be simpiler to show them what taking it to sea means rather than trying to explain to these uneducated young boys. He invited the boys onto the “Rona” and he took them on a short voyage. At the end of the day, back at his home, he decided that, rather than let the Rona stand idle for months on end, he would start a charity to give young children the opportunity to learn how to handle a yacht.
Since then, the Rona Sailing Project (formerly Rona Trust – London Sailing Project) has been taking young people to sea in large ocean-going yachts, since it was founded in 1960, and is one of the most respected sail training organisations in the UK.
Through a combination of charitable fundraising and the use of fully-trained volunteer skippers and officers, the Rona Sailing Project is able to offer a life-changing experience of teamwork and adventure to those who could not afford the fees of a commercial sail training organisation. The Rona Sailing Project operates a fleet of three modern yachts which are based on the River Hamble, near Southampton.
Adventure under sail as trainee crew advancing to watch keeper
Who can benefit from being involved with the Rona Sailing Project?. The Project offers to all young people, between 14 and 25 years of age, a taste of adventure. It offers to all young people, between 14 and 25 years of age, training in all disiplines required to be a competent sailor. It offers to all young people, between 14 and 25 years of age the opportunity to become respected leaders in society.
There is not a requirement for previous experience. Most voyages are for all male or all female crews. The Project also provide a number of voyages for people who have disabilities; in particular the project runs special voyages for people who are deaf, for the visually-impaired or blind, for those with learning difficulties and for people who are deaf and blind. The Project is the largest yacht-based provider of offshore sail training for disabled people in the UK.
M&H has witnessed young people at the start of a voyage and at he end of a voyage. It is so amazing to see the difference in attitude as they leave “their” boat. They have grown in stature. They have found something special which will make a tremedous difference to their lives.
I was an under privaleged youngster who went through training at sea. It changed me. That´s for sure.
Check out the video and believe. I hope one day a similar set up could be in place in Cartagena, Colombia