From July 4, 2018, to January 15, the crew of M/Y Dorothea III raised money through donations and pledges per marlin caught and released for their campaign, The Marlin Mission. Dorothea III/Post One traveled to Bermuda, the Azores, Portugal, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, and Brazil.
Over the course of six and a half months, the Marlin Mission raised $25,160 with roughly half going to locations in Cape Verde and the other half to those in Brazil. When they started, they set out to raise $5,000, which was immediately upped to $15,000 after some larger companies became involved.
In Cape Verde, the money was spent across three schools and an orphanage/youth center to provide school supplies, three months of food for school lunches at one school, and eye exams and glasses for 26 kids at another school. Each of the schools received a laptop and video projector that was desperately requested by all, and a computer teacher was funded at the orphanage/youth center for a year.
At the start of the mission, they planned to focus on schools but found that in trying to help them by bringing supplies, they could actually be hurting. During their time in Brazil, the crew learned a lot about the country and it was by far the most dangerous place they have been, says Stewardess Marie Evers.
“It was also more complicated in some areas like Brazil to help, which was surprising to us. In helping, you can end up hurting the situation if you don’t understand the dynamics at play,” Evers says. “Each place is different and sometimes, the places that need help the most can be the most difficult places to help.”
One of the locals showed them an app on his phone that displays the current shootings in the area to warn people not to go outside. Drug cartels and the military are at war with each other openly in the streets, and education can be considered a threat to the local drug cartels because it aims to break the cycle of kids selling drugs, she says. Bringing supplies and helping enhance education could do more harm than good and make them a viable target for potential violence.
So they looked for other ways to contribute and the second half of the money raised was donated to Swimming for Change, a youth program that gives kids the opportunity to learn to swim at an elite athletic club in Rio. This provides a safe environment free from drugs and violence for them and their families. The $13,000 donation from the Marlin Mission will cover the costs of an additional 50 kids to double the size of the program.
“Swimming for Change inspired us as a program that looks to break the cycle by introducing healthy and positive habits into kids’ lives, ultimately showing them a different alternative to life than engaging in drugs and violence, which seem to be the biggest issues threatening their future,” Evers says.
A total of 1,200 kids across both countries were or will be affected directly in some form by Dorothea III’s efforts. “It’s a wonderful feeling to toss off the lines and leave somewhere knowing that our being there made a difference,” says Mate Jenifer Rosser.
As for what’s next, the crew have started discussing ideas but they aren’t yet sure of their next move as much of what they do is driven by the itinerary and the needs of the locations they visit.
“It would be nice to do something a little different that involves hosting an event or working with other boats. We spend so much time out on our own that it would be great to work with other people, companies, or boats on something with a broader reach than just where Dorothea III is,” Evers says. “We’re just not the kind of boat that keeps to ourselves so wherever we go and whatever is on the agenda, we’ll be thinking about how we can help.”