The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound effect on the outreach efforts of our charitable partners, among them Zeilschip Eendracht. We are honoured to support Zeilschip Eendracht’s work in bringing underprivileged youth into sailing, seafaring, and maritime life. Due to the pandemic, Zeilschip Eendracht’s teaching vessel has been docked in Rotterdam. We decided to check in with Zeilschip Eendracht Foundation Director, Nanda Overdevest to see how she and the organisation are doing.
The best part is seeing the excitement of our younger volunteers after a charity trip. They are tired but excited to have been part of something so important. They make friends, learn a lot, and, at moments, get to sail the ship themselves.
Interview with Nanda Overdevest
What is Zeilschip Eendracht’s mission?
Zeilschip Eendracht is committed to introducing as many young people as possible to sea sailing and everything that goes into keeping a ship in operation 24/7. Our vessel is sailed with the help of more than 300 passionate, well-trained volunteers. Charity projects are a big part of what we do, especially for young people living with cancer, families in need, and children with unstable home lives. In this, we work closely with Het Vergeten Kind and the National Elderly Fund.
When did you start the organisation?
We were founded in 1938 when the original members created the first Eendracht. That vessel has since been decommissioned and we have been sailing with the second Eendracht since 1989.
Obviously your operations have been affected by COVID-19 though, ideally, in a normal year, how often would you sail out?
Normally, we would sail 320 days out of the year and use the other days for ship maintenance. Unfortunately, we could only sail for six months in 2020.