It was Friday night. I had no plans. My friend and I decided to go for a quiet dinner. We had dinner at Straits Quay which overlooked the marina. By chance, we were invited onto a boat that was parked there. We were invited by a couple and crew to hop aboard the historical VEGA.
We discovered this was no ordinary couple and the Vega was no fancy cruise liner.
Shane Granger, a successful advertising photographer, moved to East Africa to fulfill his dream to work as a bush pilot in the mid 90s. During this time the idea developed to use his extensive commercial advertising experience for the benefit of communicating health and environmental messages to the rural population in East Africa. It was not long before he was being sent all over the world by WHO,UNICEF, BBC World Service Trust, and WWF to develop and produce behavioral change and educational materials.
Every year since, the VEGA and her volunteer crew sail about 7,000 miles to collect and deliver between 15 and 20 tons of donated tools, educational and medical supplies. Those supplies are loaded on board in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore then delivered to East Timor and remote islands in Eastern Indonesia. Those supplies help support local level community development, health, and educational services. Supplies are also collected in Australia by VEGA supporters and shipped to Dili on board the yachts in the yearly Darwin to Dili Regatta.In addition, advanced training for traditional midwives and teaching aids for rural teachers are provided by a fully qualified Indonesian doctor who travels with on board, providing medical services on the remote islands and holding workshops or training seminars for traditional midwives.
For more info on Vega and if you would like to volunteer or donate:
The team was so warm and friendly and passionate about their cause despite being exhausted from collecting supplies and welcoming people on board their vessel all day long. Sorry my photos are not great because it was dark.