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A voyage – especially one in a boat – is an opening up to the world and to others. An exceptional way of generating encounters, which inevitably remain unforgettable. So when cruisers can also make themselves useful, by transporting a bit of equipment and/or carers, the adventure becomes...magic!

Many of the magazine’s readers contact us just as they are setting off for a cruise round the world or the Atlantic, to find out what they should embark to help the underprivileged populations they will inevitably encounter during their voyage.

One of the solutions for being useful when cruising is to get in touch with VSF (Voiles Sans Frontière), an NGO which links the nautical world with acts of solidarity, to help isolated populations accessible only by sea or river. The majority of the association’s actions are concentrated in Senegal, 60 miles south of Dakar, in the mouth of the Sine Saloum river. Nowadays, three types of action are carried out on land, and one at sea. The medical-health actions allow carers to be trained and educated, then taken to this difficult area. The educational actions allow partnerships to be created and support to be offered – both logistic and human – to the Senegalese schools, and finally the development projects allow the structures to be improved... On the water, the association takes part in the ARGO program, whose aim is to study changes in the nautical environment, and notably climate change data. The volunteer boats have to carry a beacon, and deploy it at an exact location during the voyage...

We don’t need to point out that for all these actions, the load-carrying and accommodation capacity of cruising multihulls is a real ‘plus’! So if you are planning a stopover in Africa during your next voyage, don’t hesitate to get in touch with VSF, so you can combine usefulness (helping others) with pleasure (discovering a wonderful country and incredibly welcoming populations).

Voiles Sans Frontières

Created in 1997, the international solidarity organization Voiles Sans Frontières (VSF) carries out medical-health-educational actions, to help isolated populations only accessible by sea or river; distant archipelagos, isolated island areas, shallow waters... Because of their isolation, these populations benefit very little or not at all from international aid.

The association is of course looking for donors, but also volunteers and boats, to participate in its missions.

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