Digital Yacht Foundation chats to Vega 1892
The founder of Digital Yacht has long admired what Shane and Meggi do on their humanitarian vessel Vega and was very excited to share their story. The Digital Yacht Foundation has asked them to tell us more about what they do:
About Vega 1892
Our mission has always been simple and straight forward. We cannot save the world but we can make one small part of it a little bit better. Indonesia is a nation with over 17,000 islands. Many of the smallest islands have fallen through society’s cracks and been neglected, or are so difficult to access it is impractical for government to support them. Those are the forgotten people we have assisted for almost two decades.
Vega 1892 is a small “Mom & Pop” charity that operates on a purely volunteer basis. Based on lists given us by the teachers and health workers we assist a large group of friends, who want to make a difference but want their assistance to go directly into the hands of those who need it most, donate the tools and supplies we deliver. Every year we sail our 130-year-old wooden boat almost 6,000 miles to make those deliveries. In many ways, we are like a glorified DHL delivering what we receive each year, or purchase with funds donated by our friends. Meggi and I volunteer ourselves and Vega, since that is all we have. There are no big companies throwing money at us.
What has Vega achieved so far
For the past 17 years, until COVID struck, Vega delivered roughly 20 tons of new educational and medical supplies annually to remote island communities in Eastern Indonesia and East Timor supporting 22 rural schools, 122 midwives and 18 health posts. Some of those communities are so remote that when we leave they do not see another outside face until we return. The supplies we bring help save lives and improve education for the children on these remote islands.
Two examples of how you can help
Sight by Sail is an initiative which provides free reading glasses for the elderly on the remote islands Vega assists. Vega supplies both new high-quality glasses of various strengths and training for local health workers to fit them. As we get older our eyes deteriorate making it hard to focus on objects that are close. Reading becomes difficult, crafts such as weaving, sewing, and carving become impossible. Yet the elderly have the most experience. Thanks to a low cost pair of reading glasses many older people on the islands we assist are now able to re-join productive life again.
Vega supports 122 traditional midwives with the equipment and expendable supplies they need to do their job. When we first began visiting these islands a midwife’s kit consisted of one sharp kitchen knife, a piece of coconut string, and many years of experience. In cases of infection or serious bleeding, all they could do was pray. Now, thanks to equipment, training, and expendable supplies provided by Vega that has radically changed. Natal related mortality rates on the islands we assist have fallen by over 60%. But these midwives depend upon the expendables and medications from Vega’s annual deliveries.
Your donation will go a long way toward helping the people on those islands. To learn more about Vega 1892 and our humanitarian efforts, spend a few moments on our website.
To learn more about who The Digital Yacht Foundation is supporting please visit our Latest News section.