Update 2. March 2019
The Historical Vessel Vega, run by an inspiring couple, Shane and Meggi, delivers roughly 20 tons of donated educational and medical supplies to isolated island communities in Indonesia.
They have dedicated their lives to this mission since 2004 and even helped deliver supplies to the Indonesian islands after the Tsunami.
If you would like to contribute to help Vega and the island communities we assist here is a link. http://sailvega.com/vega/support_the_vega.html
Earlier in the year, in March 2014, I wrote about meeting the couple behind the Historical Vega Humanitarian Mission. Captain Shane Granger and Meggi Macoun were the most inspiring and passionate people I have ever met. I met them when they docked at Straits Quay Penang to collect donations for schools in the remote areas of Indonesia and East Timor areas. They were looking for school bags, school supplies, musical instruments and medical supplies. They had a list of things that people could donate. They didn’t want money, they wanted specific things which involved people having to go out to buy or donate from their homes or schools. It gives people a sense of involvement. It surely did for me. I got a few of my friends to donate money so that I could go out to buy musical instruments for the school band.
When I spoke to them and asked them why they are doing this instead of giving to charities, they replied that by the time big NGOs finish their meetings and talking, they would have have done much more themselves, and true to their word, they have indeed accomplished that.
Every year they collect about 20 tons of school and medical supplies from Penang, Singapore and Jakarta. Ports along their sailing route. They pick up and then they deliver to all the schools that they have identified over the years. They have been doing this relentlessly for 10 years. The whole trip takes almost a year depending on the winds and repair works on the boat. Then they sail back to Thailand where they are based and they start all over again.
It is so heartwarming to see the faces of the kids receiving their school bags equipped with a set of school supplies inside. It’s so emotional for me to look at the photos it makes me want to cry. I know how hard it has taken them to reach E. Timor. All the things that went wrong along the way, but still, they made it. Eliza, one of the volunteers on board told me she was going to leave in July to go back to work, but I am so happy to see that she saw it through. I’m slightly jealous that I wasn’t there with them. I asked Shane if I could go the day I met him, he said no. I went to see them almost every day for the whole week and a half they were docked in Penang and by the end of their stay, Shane actually said yes to me coming on board as a volunteer, but I chickened out for fear of being seasick, which is such a lame excuse for because I was too scared I couldn’t heck the trip. It is gruelling. I know. I’ve followed them all the way through on Facebook.
The photos are of the school supplies being delivered to Biamaraem primary school. One of the many schools that will receive school supplies that have been donated.
Thank you to Historic Vessel Vega. Hope to see you all on the journey home xx
All the photos are taken from Historical Vessel Vega. Photo credit Meggi Macoun and Shane Granger
“Aidabaslala school is in Bobonaro District and consists of a Pre school & Primary School section. The average family in that area has 6 children. That means a lot of children want to start their education now. Support for the very young is a priority, they are the next generation. Due to financial problems too many children drop out of school. Over 70% of children leave school before reaching year 9. The highest rate of dropouts occurs in the first two years of primary school.
On the day of our visit there were 85 students present. All received Kits-4-Kids bags. The Vega team had prepared special supplies bags for the teachers. 2 large boxes with general school supplies and footballs which were handed over to the headmistress. This year we had volunteers from the East Timor Maritime Police and Customs helping with the schools visits. The Kits-4-Kids Schoolbags were donated by students from the GESS German European School Singapore and students from Penang Malaysia. School-supplies were donated by Montessori kindergarten, Uplands, Dalat and CGL international schools and Tinker Bell couture Penang. Many thanks also to all the individuals who contributed, especially the nice folks in Singapore and Penang, Malaysia. As always if you like what we are doing please do share these pics with your friends.” ~Historical Vessel Vega
For more info do follow their journey on Facebook. They will be doing more deliveries. Maybe you would like to donate or be a volunteer.