International Humanitarian Mission Sails of the Spirit – Baltic Inclusive Sailing Festival

The 14th stage of the Sails of the Spirit humanitarian mission is taking place on June 15 – July 16, 2017 in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Russian Federation. A sailing catamaran will start from Stockholm and is going to be in the city of Kaliningrad by the middle of July covering approximately 2000 nautical miles in 6 countries. Its team will be inclusive, meaning it will consist of people with and without disabilities from different regions of Russia and other countries of the world.

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Humanitarian mission Sails of the Spirit consists of various inclusive activities and events: sailing expeditions and races, the purpose of which is to shape a new model of communication with people with disabilities. All events of the project are carried out through active social activities that aim to stimulate the development and population of inclusion. The project started in 2011 and since then its inclusive teams have made 13 preparatory stages and visited the Andaman, North, Caribbean, Baltic, Mediterranean, Black Seas, Lake Baikal and Lake Sevan. The purpose of the mission is the development of inclusive cooperation.

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Colorful presentations of the project and the First World Congress for Persons with Disabilities (Yekaterinburg, Russia, September 2017) are planned in Stockholm, Oulu, Turku, Kuressaare, Liepaja, Klaipeda, Kaliningrad, and other cities and towns along the way. Together with the presentations, the team is going to have meetings with youth and social organizations, Russian language communities, athletes, and representatives of local authorities.

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Uldis Mežulis and other members of the Latvian yacht-club “Auda” are going to be in charge of sailing and training the team during the expedition. Yachtsmen of the “Auda” are winners of many international regattas. The idea of the Sails of the Spirit project belongs to Oleg Kolpashchikov from Russia, who is in charge of the humanitarian program of the expedition.

Among other members of the team are Yevgenia Malyshko, an expert on inclusive education and social rehabilitation from Moscow, Vladimir Rudak and Vladimir Bush, rock musicians from Petrozavodsk and Krasnoyarsk, Pavel Erlich and Boris Khokhonov, artists from Hamburg and Yekaterinburg. We will also have a blind folk dancer from Nepal, Sristi KC, who will perform her vibrant dancing routines, and last but not least Marc Aufrant, the vice-president of the Valentin Haüy Association, Paris.

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We welcome everyone who wants to take part in the expedition. We are waiting for creative and positive people, sailors, representatives of social and youth organizations. Any suggestions to organize meetings and activities that promote the development of inclusion and sailing are welcome. We invite media to report about the events of the expedition!

More information about the project may be found at WHITE CANE’s website extrability.org/baltic-inclusive-sailing-festival

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