Sailing for a sustainable future

One hundred young people from five continents have sailed with Statsraad Lehmkuhl along the coast of central Norway. The special thing about this group, is that they all work with sustainability projects in their home countries.

«Life on board the ship was very inspiring, especially the experience of standing at the helm and steering the ship», 21-year-old Fauzia from Jakarta, Indonesia says. 

Fauzia enjoyed her time on board, although the autumn weather in Central Norway was a challenge at times: “At home in Jakarta it’s always sunny!». Photo: SpareBank 1 SMN
Ahead of the voyage, the youth have developed and implemented sustainable projects where they live.
They have created building materials from garbage, cleaned beaches, saved food, saved lives, removed taboos and barriers, created jobs and solar energy, and engaged thousands of people to work for a better world.

Fauzia’s project delivers clean energy to villages in Indonesia. Photo: Private
«We work with a cooperative that will provide solar energy to poor villages that still do not have access to electricity. The aim is to optimize agriculture through the use of electric agricultural equipment and provide them with electricity for basic needs»,says Fauzia.
The sailing voyage with Lehmkuhl marks the end of an eight-month long development program under the auspices of SpareBank 1 SMN, World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) and FN-Sambandet.
100 brave young people have learned to put their commitment into practice. Photo: Sparebank1 SMN.
«In connection with the bank’s 200th anniversary, we wanted to set a course for the future, put Central Norway on the map and show that value is more than money», Siri Borthen Flatås, project manager at Sparebank 1 SMN, says.
It is no coincidence that Lehmkuhl was chosen to assemble the group. 
«During the voyage, they have learned the value of working together to make the ship sail, and they have shown off their projects to each other and to school pupils and businesses in the ports».
Statsraad Lehmkuhl on her way to Molde with youth from five different continents on board. Photo: SpareBank 1 SMN
«On board the ship, we realized that the similarities between us are more important than the differences, and that we must work together to solve the challenges the world faces. 
I can’t think of a better place to learn this than on board such a beautiful ship – where everyone is in the same boat, sailing together under the same starry sky», Flatås says.
Siri (in the middle) from Sparebank 1 SMN is impressed by the young people she has gotten to know during the program. Photo: Sparebank 1 SMN
“It makes an enormous impression to experience that we live side by side on the ship, but are now traveling back home to completely different lives. 
Like the Chinese girl who risks being arrested if she says what she thinks about the Chinese society, or Fauzia, who now finds that her hometown in Indonesia is facing an imminent risk of drowning and disappearing – because the sea is rising. Then I feel that we all have to contribute even more!”
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