The donation of a 26 foot yacht to the Lawhill Maritime Centre in Simon’s Town means that more children from disadvantaged communities will now be to access South Africa’s Maritime industry.
The yacht will be used for practical sailing and navigational training.
A group of youth from the Cape Peninsula have already been given a chance to study and experience life in the maritime industry.
The program runs over a period of three years.
The students have already had a chance to travel abroad, a first for many of them.
The yacht will give the students an opportunity to prepare for their careers on the high seas.
These students say the program is enriching:
“When you are out at sea and something breaks you have to repair it. So, basically your mind functions as an engineer and as a sailor and a mentor to other people because as a team you build each other up.”
Another students says: “It’s a whole new world for me coming from a landlocked province such as the Free State I have learnt a lot of things such as basic things like how to tie knots, rigging and the technology used onboard super yachts.”
Founder of the program, Phil Wade, says the yacht will provide the students with much needed hands-on training: “Students like these are so keen to get stuck in. However, being in the classroom all the time stifles their imagination. So, when we heard about the donation this was wonderful news for the students and staff alike. Students now get to go out on a real live yacht and experience being a yacht hand. They get to tie knots, get lots of sailing time in and even steer the yacht, under supervision of course.”[Source: SABC]