In Indonesia, Cruisers Find a New Philanthropy

"Cruising Post" from our January 24, 2007, CW Reckonings.

CPostIndonesia

It has been a decade since Rob and Dee Dubin sold their film production company and began cruising the world aboard their Island Packet 40 Ventana. In that time, the Dubins have island-hopped from the Caribbean to the South Pacific, forming lasting friendships, exploring exotic cultures, and documenting the entire fantasy on www.ventanasvoyage.com.

A recent visit to Indonesia with the Darwin to Kupang Rally inspired the Dubins to harness the philanthropic potential of their cruising connections. Rob explains:

"In our sailing travels we have visited a great many poor countries and we do our best to donate school books, clothes, pens and pencils for the kids but in reality these efforts are not even a band aid for what's necessary

"When all the boats in the rally arrived [in Kupang, Indonesia] we received an unbelievable welcome from the entire city with dinners held in our honor by the mayor and governor. Also on hand to meet us were a dozen university students who wanted to improve their English by acting as our volunteer guides around this good size city.

"Our guide, Nita, spoke excellent English and was one of the most intelligent and dynamic young women we have ever met-- had she been born in the U.S. she would no doubt be on a full ride scholarship to the university of her choice. Fortunately she was on scholarship to the state university here as her family could not afford her yearly tuition of $170.

"When I realized there must be dozens of other students like Nita who would miss out on a college education for the lack of $170, I thought maybe we finally had a chance to really make a difference. Fortunately the other cruisers in our rally felt the same way."

Six short days after arriving in Kupang the Dubins had raised enough funds from fellow cruisers to provide college educations for four local students starting this year. By working with future cruising rallies to Kupang, the Durbins hope to establish the scholarship in perpetuity.

To learn more about the scholarship, or to make a contribution, click here.