… but donors are also wanted!
Change your Course and Make a Difference! Why not? It is never too late. Caribbean Sail Training could be the answer!
Caribbean Sail Training (CST) has been established some 14 years ago (in Grenada first, later in St.Maarten and now St.Martin) as a registered non-profit association with the aim to help in providing education and sail training towards young people of all nationalities, cultures, religions and social backgrounds, specially towards people living in the Caribbean.
Caribbean Sail Training basically receives funds from businesses, private persons and other organizations that are used to provide youngsters with sponsorship to board ships and yachts as trainees so that they don’t need to find the necessary money themselves.
The Target group: Caribbean and youth from other nationalities.
Many of the Caribbean youth or their parents and family are not wealthy enough to come up with necessary funds to provide their youngsters a sail training term on board a vessel, so that’s where CST comes to help.
As organization we select cooperating Tall ships, square riggers, large yachts and even race boats, that take youngsters on a sail training trip. We arrange the funds (as each sail training vessel need some money from trainees in order to keep working and exist), we do all the paperwork, we arrange and pay for transport to and from the ship (and air line tickets and hotels if necessary), we pay for food and drinks and most of the expenses. Our ultimate goal is to build, restore or acquire one day a Tall Ship to run sail training and educational programs at sea all year round for Caribbean and other young people.
Caribbean Sail Training has placed many youngsters on Tall Ships and yachts over the past years mainly in co-operation with the Maritime School of the West Indies in St. Martin and the ship and yacht agency Yacht Assistance.
CST accepts requests from schools, yacht clubs and institutions that are interested to place a student on one of the vessels as a trainee. Private persons, youngsters and parents are also encouraged to contact the association to participate in a sailing adventure on board on one of the ships.
Applicants need to have the minimum age of 15 and be not older than 25 years on most of the Tall Ships but sometimes older trainees are accepted as well on board of some of the sail training vessels.
5 questions to Jan, the president of Caribbean Sail Training
Jan, President, Caribbean Sail Training, Non-Profit Association.
Jan, can young people from Germany apply also, or from the United States and other Western countries, I mean from the richer countries in the world, for the sail training?
Caribbean Sail Training, as the name suggests, can only accept trainees born in the Caribbean and people from any country as long as they live in the Caribbean (and have been living in the Caribbean for at least a year). Our aim is to pay for the training instead of the youngsters paying themselves, so if we would accept people from other countries just to come and do sail training we would never have enough budget to pay also for those.
We are struggling to find money from donations already in order to provide Caribbean youngsters with the free sail training.
Awareness building through sailing? Who had the idea to found the NGO and what will give the training to the young people?
I used to be heavy involved in Tall ship building some 30 years ago so that is where I came up with the idea to start up sail training for youngsters. All the advantages of doing sail training for youngsters are described in many web sites on the Internet and proven by many teachers, doctors, physiologists and people working in education. We have many testimonials from youngsters and parents explaining how much the sail training has changed their lives for the best.
We have several youngsters that have been on sail training trough our non-profit organization for the first time years ago and have continued in the maritime world afterwards, some of those even became captain on a mega yacht.
How many applicants are you accepting within a years term?
We accept as much trainees as possible and as much as we can afford to pay for. Sail Training costs are in-between US $600 and US $2.000 per week so you can imagine that we cannot have hundreds of youngsters each season. The more money donations we receive the more youngsters we can place, and for sure we need donors! We have the paperwork for larger tax-deductible donations but even a yearly $100 public membership helps us a lot.
In which regions sail trainings are taking place?
We have around 75 Sail Training Vessels that are member vessels of Caribbean Sail Training and those ships sail all over the world. Several are in the Caribbean during the winter season others are in Europe, the USA, Canada, Latin America or even sailing around the World.
We had youngsters from the Caribbean for which we have paid the airline tickets from St.Maarten to Holland and further on to Norway to sail in the Tall Ship Races, we’ve paid for their training and air fares back to the Caribbean, but because of our limited budget we try to have most of the trainees sailing on vessels that are in the Caribbean to limit the travel expenses.
How many students in total you had already on sailing ships?
Over the 14 years we’ve had hundreds, some participated in the Maritime Experience Days (a one day sail training) that we organise all the time with many ships while they are in the Caribbean and others have been on one or several week voyages, some did longer training like 3 months including Atlantic Crossings.
If one day we receive many many donations or a large one we could have thousands, because we have to refuse too many trainees due to lack of funds.
Thank you very much for your explanation, Jan.