Midway through our inaugural voyage from Sligo to Galway, which ran from 20-24th July 2015, we were contacted by the Irish Refugee Council who had been inundated with requests from social workers wanting to recommend young people in care to our programme - after we put out a shout-out to fill our last spots on Voyage One. The Refugee Council wondered whether perhaps we would consider running a second week this Summer...?
We considered...and said yes! We loved their idea - to tie in an educational angle regarding the recent increase in migrant deaths at sea in European waters and to create a video focusing on this issue. In the words of the group: The young people wanted to find a way to show their solidarity with those seeking a safe haven from the perspective of young people who were already lucky enough to have done so.
The project is outlined in detail here. Now, obviously, we didn't have much time to fundraise for week two while we were at sea running week one! But the Spirit of Oysterhaven Trust, our sail training provider, has very kindly taken a leap of faith and agreed to run the second week for us on trust - cash not in hand! So we are scrambling into action for a very worthy cause. Worthy because in addition to meeting the Safe Haven Voyages key aim of integration (all voyages contain a mixture of Irish national young people and those from migrant communities) this particular voyage will have participants who are separated children living in care, that is, young people who fled their countries of origin and arrived in Ireland to seek asylum under the age of 18, alone, separated from their families. This is a particularly vulnerable group of young people within the asylum seeking community. We are excited to be sharing this opportunity with them as we embark under full sail for Voyage Two - see the Events page for further details!