ACI & Vaša Pošta
This year as well, for the second time, in collaboration with the “Vaša pošta” Foundation ACI organized a sailing day for the children – residents of children’s homes. Along with the residents of children’s homes from the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County as well as Karlovac and Pula, we hosted the children of St. Joseph’s Children’s home from Hrvatski Leskovac.
In the morning, cheerful and curious groups of youngsters started arriving in ACI marina Opatija in Ičići.
We slowly gathered, dressed in “sailing” t-shirts, ate, took pictures, all with a cheerful and delighted laugh and the babbling of the young protégés as well as donors, sponsors, educators, foster parents, and especially our cheerful Katarina Pišković, Carmelite Sister of the Divine Heart of Jesus, who accompanied the residents of St. Joseph’s Children’s home from Hrvatski Leskovac.
It was nice to see all the smiling faces of the youngsters and feel the positive atmosphere that spread throughout the marina, as well as the positive charge and impatience due to the new sailing experience. We arrived to the vessels, the sailboats JOD 35, the world-known “speeders” on which the most famous names of the sailing world sailed for many years at the ACI Match Race Cup. Today these sailing boats were in the function of kindness and humanity. It is a pity that boats cannot talk…
And so we set sail…at first with the help od the engine due to the lack of wind, and slowly towards the open sea in order to catch a gust of wind. We’re shutting the engines, raising the sails, chasing the wind … silence … peace … tranquility… the sailboat slides gently over the blue expanse … we are far away from the coast, and civilization is merely emerging in the distance…Rijeka, Opatija, Ičići…
Complete peace and silence reign on the boats…the sailing experts would call it a positive shock.
And suddenly the skipper announces: “ready to jibe!, catch the rope, tighten, tighten!!! Move to the left side, watch your head, waaaatch your heeead!! ” Everyone is rapidly moving, switching, jumping over a myriad of tangled ropes, and they move according to the orders of the skipper to the other side of the boat so that the sailboat could slowly sail again and catch the wind in the sails. The skippers teach also the children how to carefully move on the sailboat, work with ropes and the winch, on the topic of safety, especially concerning the boom that can knock you on the head … everyone listens carefully and does what the skipper says.
And so we sail the waters of the Kvarner, switching alternately from side to side of the sailboat whenever the skipper does the maneuver. The atmosphere on the vessels is cheerful, and after each maneuver everyone returns once again to enjoy the sound of silence.
It is time for lunch and we slowly return towards ACI marina Ičići. The children and adults jump now with more courage from the boat to the pier, slightly numbed by the sun and the sea so at first the pier is peaceful and quiet. And then: explosion of impressions, comments, laughter, joy! Everyone has a smile on their face.
Lunch time passed in laughter and exchanging impressions, thanking each other and at the end we separated with the greeting: “We’re sailing again next year of course!”
More about the “Vaša pošta” Foundation
In the Republic of Croatia, children without adequate parental care grow up in 30 children’s homes. Given life circumstances, most of the residents have to start living independently when they turn 18, which is a big challenge without the help of society and secured employment.
In 2010, Croatian Post Inc. established the “Vaša pošta” Foundation to make it easier for such children to start their independent life and provide them with financial assistance in that demanding period.
As a sponsor of the Foundation, ACI d.d. is actively supporting this remarkable action of Croatian Post Inc. by paying life insurance policies for the children. The collected amount is paid to the children as an annuity when they leave the home, in order to settle their basic living expenses until they find employment.
ACI d.d. has so far supported five children who grew up in homes for children without parental care and who started living independently.