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Christian Winkler 07-15-2011 01:47 AM

children sailing project - an invitation
Dear sailing people,

maybe you are based at a location which is suitable for trying out a sailing project for children, called “Mirno More Peace Fleet”. And maybe you want to look at it closer; so this is what itīs all about:

The biggest educational sailing programme for socially disadvantaged children in Europe, Mirno More Peace Fleet, was founded 1994. I started it without any seed money and built it within 15 years into a project that is unique in the whole world so far.
Socially disadvantaged children and their caretakers sail through the Adriatic Sea along the Croatian coast for a week. They abandon prejudice and hatred, practice to solve conflicts peacefully and form friendships across ethnical, social and religious borders. The positive effects are to strengthen their social competence, capacity for teamwork and to get a sense to react responsibly. In 1994 Mirno More started with three boats and 17 children, in 2009 this great experience could be offered to almost 1000 participants on more than 100 boats.
Check Mirno More website to get an impression. The successful concept of the Mirno More Fleet shall be spread worldwide:
In the beginning of 2010 I withdrew from Mirno More and now – with the help of my own children - I am working on the realisation of my new vision: There should be more peace fleets all over the world. Thousands of children should learn tolerance, capacity for teamwork and social competence throughout this unique adventure.

The association of World Peace Fleet was founded 2010 to support the foundation of licensed partner projects. This year 2012 we realised the first new peace fleet Germany. The first Mirno More Peace Fleet in Croatia started with three yachts, now there are more than a hundred – why should we doubt that there will be a hundred peace fleets around the world in 15 years?

Social franchising – the method:
The future franchise-partners are invited to draw on our knowhow and our experience, you will get support while you are founding and hosting first small pilot projects. The new partners commit the observing of our quality and safety standards in return, so they can be assured to be aware of the high responsibility they have for the children who are entrusted in their care. The partners get a licence for the use of the established brand. In return to the support the partners will be asked to promote common Sponsors in their PR-work. The social franchise method is not to make profits, at least not in a financial way.

So far this is the presentation of the project in short.

That’s nice, you might think, but what do I get from it?

Instead of an answer I, Christian, – the founder of the peace fleet – take the liberty of being personal and want to tell you about the beginning of the Mirno More Peace Fleet in Croatia.

Till the end of the eighties I had led an unsteady life as a captain and charter-base manager in Yugoslavia. The collapse of this country lead to several civil wars. My hometown Vienna was flooded by refugees, my friends in my second homeland – now called Croatia – hid in trenches. In the meanwhile I got sick and had to undergo a very risky operation on the open heart. In contemplation of death I rethought my whole life. “What stays when I won’t be here any longer? What did I cause?” Life as it had been before did not attract me any longer. After recovery I wanted to have social responsibility. How could I have realized my experiences better than in a social sailing project? This is how I started the idea of a peace fleet: 100 ships under the peace flag, with children of different countries and social surroundings. Together on ONE boat they should learn to throw away hatred and prejudice, differences of all kinds should be found equally valuable. First others were belittling my vision. Almost nobody could be found to support such a “foolish” plan. But I had the feeling that a realisation of this vision would be possible, though. I made many mistakes, had drawbacks, but surprisingly many successes with the first young peace fleet sailors. I started with the body work: it should last for 15 years. The results are wonderful, I am very happy about my success and my live has become meaningful.

Maybe you would like to try something similar?
If yes – would you like to avoid the mistakes and drawbacks we made at the beginning?
This is why I founded the “World Peace Fleet” association, together with some Mirno-More experienced friends: we could help and support you during your first steps and later on, if you decide to continue and start building up a bigger project.

Even a single pilot project with only one boat and a few children could show you the positive effects they can gain through participation. Many of the Mirno More team members tell us about a deep feeling of satisfaction, caused by having done something positive. This “Mirno More” spirit would be your “benefit”. Whoever has seen the laughing and happy children under the flying banners of the peace fleet stays with it and so you can explain the growth of Mirno More easily.

I would be very pleased if you would be interested in a franchise partnership and the hosting of a pilot project, I would send you more information on demand….take the chance and ask for the first briefing. A pilot project with one single yacht is not a big deal and can be realized easily.

We are looking forward to hear from you!

Knotty858 07-27-2011 01:27 AM

think I saw something similar to this concept
in a documentary on disadvantaged children in an equestrian school in Los Angeles. I don't own a boat, but my boyfriend does, so perhaps we could consider this down the road...

Christian Winkler 07-27-2011 02:33 AM

Thank you for your reply
I appreciate your interest! (By the way, you posted round midnight, is this correct? Here in Austria itīs already 8 in the morning :) )
Equestrian schools can produce some similar effects to the personal developement of their young clients, but in our country they usually work with handicapped children.

If you really want to think about trying out, I may first of all invite you to discuss this with your boyfriend. A boat is the basic requirement, of course, so please find out if he is ready to invest some days. Everything else we can discuss later. Post his response right here, because I think you will not be able to send a PM to me until having reacherd 20 posts.

Looking forward to your next reply!

Georgiegirl 07-29-2011 07:37 AM

In the UK, there are a number of organisations, which do this already; the Ocean Youth Trusts is one such body, and there are more. -have a check on Google
I sailed with them as a teenager and learn a lot, especially that not everyone is lucky in life and that we all need to look after each other. I hope your project goes well.

Christian Winkler 07-29-2011 06:23 PM

Thank you, Georgiegirl,
I am happy to hear that you had a benefit out of participation in a similar project. ;)
We should check the mentioned Ocean Youth Trust, and Iīll do it soon for sure, but I doubt that they will really be interested in cooperation. Once an organisation like this has been successfully established their leaders are usually not willing to overtake safety- and quality regulations of another organisation like ours. Itīs a pity, because our experience in this field could probably protect children who will participate in similar projects in the future. We started 1994 in a country at war (Croatia) and had to face a huge amount of various risks, but never any child was harmed due to exact these mentioned safety and quality standards. Just spend a few minutes and have a look at this thread about the tragedy of a similar project:
The victims could still be alive, if the organizers had followed our rules.

I hope to find some sailors who want to try out our recipe doing a pilot project with 1-2 boats and maybe later on want to engage in building up.

Christian Winkler 09-03-2012 02:03 PM

First partner project in Germany has left harbour
5 Attachment(s)
Dear SailNet community, I am happy to announce that we have reached our first goal and Germany partner project has been sailing from August 31st until September 7th in the area of island Ruegen (close to border/Poland), Iīll try to attach some pictures below. We would be glad to receive messages from other sailors who are interested to raise such a project!

Christian Winkler 10-12-2012 05:58 AM

New Video from pilot project Germany
Dear SailNet community,

here is the link to our new YouTube-Video about our pilot project in northern Germany:

Donīt worry about language, the music is in english

I would be so happy if someone here would be interested to learn more about these could raise one yourself!
Please respond!

gtx chris

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