Please don’t hesitate

We’re nearing the end now of our La Rochelle Challenge and because we’re a few days ahead of schedule we’ve taken the luxury of making a detour to have a wonderfully relaxing day off in La Trinite Sur Mer. There’s a great place nearby where my partner loves to take our dog for a walk along a wild, unspoiled beach, and the dog loves it too. It’s also a good place for a spot of retail therapy, which makes a nice change from sailing.

But for me the highlight is gazing at the incredible variety of yachts and boats here, ranging from small sailing dinghies to luxury cruising yachts and state-of-the-art hi tech racing catamarans with huge masts as high as sequoia trees. Indeed, this must be one of the only harbours in France where sailing vessels outnumber motor boats.

I had  wonderful surprise just a few minutes ago when I looked at our Just Giving page and discovered we are now about 55% of the way towards achieving our goal of raising £500 for Save the Children, thanks to yet more incredibly generous donations, for which we are so grateful.

More to the point, I am sure the children who’s suffering can be alleviated by the actions of this international charity organisation are equally grateful for the support they receive.

If you’ve been following our La Rochelle Challenge, or even if you haven’t, and you feel inspired to donate a little something but haven’t done so yet, please don’t hesitate to do it. It’s easy and you’ll feel great when you listen to the voice of your heart. Just go online and find http://www.justgiving.com and search for LaRochelleChallenge. One more click brings you to our page, then simply follow the on-screen instructions.

Thank you so much.

why we should support children

Apart from the fact that it’s inhumane for anyone, let alone children, to suffer poverty, malnutrition, homelessness, abuse, lack of proper education, the ravages of war or becoming a refugee, if we want our world to become a better place for us all to live in, we must pay attention to the children of the world.

That’s because psychological conditioning begins at birth, or even earlier perhaps, and the effects of the traumas we receive when we are young can stay with us for the rest of our lives.

For example, imagine being born into present day Syria and you and your family are forced to flee for your lives. Not only do you suffer the loss of your homeland, you may suffer another rejection because it seems no-one else wants you. If you’ve lived through bombing and shelling and maybe your home was destroyed or, even worse, your parents and siblings were killed, you may become a vulnerable orphan on the run at a very young age.

Take as another example some areas of Africa where drought is sometimes a problem. Here your young life may well be blighted by malnutrition or even famine, which needless to say, will also bring you much suffering.

In some areas, especially where there is civil war, children are actually forced into being soldiers and carrying weapons which they are expected to use on the so called enemy, who might indeed be their fellow Africans or even their families.

Here in the West there seem to be rampant levels of child abuse of all types, and across parts of Europe incidents of the trafficking of children as slaves and prostitutes are constantly being revealed. And that’s not even to mention the internet…

The trauma this reality engenders in children is massive and the consequences may last through many generations. It’s not surprising so many of them are really angry or disillusioned, even going to the extreme of becoming violent, militant activists. I’m thinking especially, when I say that, of young kids who become Jehadists, or the children of IRA victims and perpetrators during “the troubles” in Northern Ireland, but those are only two examples of many.

One thing remains certain – violence begets more violence and hatred begets more hatred. There is no way we can have a balanced society when our children are unbalanced, which so many of them are. The anger and hatred is passed from one generation to the next. Children need proper education, not prejudiced conditioning – it’s the key to living a balanced and successful life in our modern era.

This is a very simplistic analysis which, I hope, goes a little way to indicate why it’s so important for those of us who are able to support the great work being done around the world by Save the Children, Oxfam and many others.

We who live a relatively privileged existence have tried to contribute something by creating our La Rochelle Challenge. We hope you will feel motivated to support our efforts. If you do, please log onto Just Giving, search for Dave’s La Rochelle Challenge and follow the on-screen instructions. Thank you so much for reading this.

Arzal here we come!

As I have mentioned in previous posts, we are currently deeply engrossed in our La Rochelle Challenge, an idea to turn our annual cruising holiday into a fund raising campaign in aid of Save the Children. We chose to support that organisation because so many children the world over seem to be suffering nowadays and Save the Children have the resources and international network to help alleviate the suffering of many of them in many countries.

Basically, the idea is to raise sponsorship by sailing from our base in Arzal, Brittany, to La Rochelle, about half way across the Bay of Biscay going South, and back again.

I’m happy to report we are now well on our way back – about half way actually – but now we’ve had to stop in harbour to await the passage of inclement weather. Even if you have a well found boat as we have, very few cruising yachtsmen will venture forth when there are gale warnings being issued. We may be here for as many as four days, but no matter, I have several good books to read, including War & Peace, which I am sure will keep me occupied for a very long time to come.

It’s vitally important to support the children of the world and in my next post I’ll try to outline some of the reasons why. Meanwhile, please feel free to donate to this vital cause. If you Google Just Giving and search for Dave’s La Rochelle Challenge, you’ll find our page. Many thanks.

La Rochelle or bust!

Yeay, at last I can do a new post ‘cos I’ve finally managed to connect to the internet! Not so easy sitting on a boat in the delightful Ile d’Yeu.

We’re now well on our way to La Rochelle, our summer cruise that we have turned into a challenge to raise money for Save The Children. (If you want to contribute you can do so directly by logging on to http://www.justgiving.com and finding the La Rochelle Challenge, or just simply Dave Robson).

We’ve had a wonderful selection of people join our crew, namely Nina, my four-year-old granddaughter, and her mum Natsu, my daughter in law, both from Japan and co-incidentally visiting this side of the planet at the moment, and our crazy Irish friends Kevin and Elaine, who flew all the way from Belfast to sail with us.

They’ve all gone home now so it’s just me and my partner Rachella until Saturday, when our friends Max and Nurit fly in to join us from a hot and sunny Israel.

We expect to reach La Rochelle round about this time next week, so watch this space. Then begins the second and more difficult series of passages back to our home base in Arzal, usually against the prevailing winds and tides.

I’ll post again soon, when I can get wifi, but in the meantime please read about our fundraising efforts on Just Giving and if you are feeling generous, please feel free to donate, especially if you agree that we need to make life better for the children of this world so the young people of our planet can take a quantum leap in consciousness and help end the obscene violence that we see constantly that causes so much unnecessary suffering.

Thank you so much…