Get Involved - Support the Sailing Clinic
People living in Myanmar's Mergui Archipelago have no access to adequate medical facilities. We are not an NGO but we want to help. That is why we have launched the Sailing Clinic. At least twice a year, we will invite doctors, nurses and medical workers to sail to settlements in the Mergui Archipelago to help. With your support, the first mission took place in early 2015. Join the discussion, donate to support the clinic, or join the team.
The Mergui Archipelago is a stunning region in the south of Myanmar, a vast area of 800 jungle islands almost untouched by the outside world. We first visited the archipelago aboard our yacht Meta IV in February 2013 and we fell in love with it right away.
People living in this area are largely cut off from modern civilisation. The indigenous Moken are a semi-nomadic ethnic group sometimes referred to as "sea gypsies". They live a traditional life as hunter-gatherers and roam the archipelago’s waters in dugout canoes. There are a few small settlements and villages in the region, but all without modern medical facilities.
Over the past year, our crew had started supplying two nurse stations with basic medicine. But a few months ago, we had an encounter that made us think further. We met a young man who was working on one of the islands cutting wild cane and who had bad injuries on his arm. The wounds were already black and looked gangrene. We thought that he might not make it unless he received treatment. So we took him to the closest hospital and our guests gave him money for his medical treatment.
That’s when we decided we needed to do more - and to start the Sailing Clinic. We are no doctors and no NGO. But we want to help. We know the islands and its people and we have the means of transportation.
We posted the idea on our blog and on our Facebook page and were excited to see how many people contacted us wanting to contribute.
At least twice a year, we will invite doctors and medical workers onto our yacht to visit the Mergui Archipelago’s villages. There are still many open questions to discuss. What type of help is most needed and effective? What kinds of medication and equipment should we bring? Which government permissions and insurances do we need? We want to create a community of interested nurses, doctors, sailors and yacht owners and invite them to join this project. And who knows, maybe one day the Sailing Clinic will develop beyond the Mergui Archipelago. For details on how the first mission went, please have a look at the mission report below.