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Providing educational and recreational training at sea, Adventure-Ship was the first Hong Kong sailing program ever targeted towards youth with disabilities. However, the organization is about much more than nautical training. By participating in our innovative and carefully designed sea activities, the trainees work cooperatively and push themselves in a supportive environment by learning, helping others, and growing.
> develop their potential in a supportive environment
> enhance their creative, social and problem-solving skills by confronting challenges in groups
> acquire an appreciative, caring and environmentally aware attitude
> increase their self-esteem, self-reliance and sense of team spirit
Each year, approximately 9,000 young people participate in our programs.
Adventure-Ship welcomes all young people over the age of nine; we give
preference, however, to groups with participants from the following
> individuals with physical or mental disabilities
> individuals with behavioral challenges
> individuals with chronic illnesses
> new arrivals, welfare recipients and underprivileged children
Average number of participants:
9000 per annum
Volunteers (Buddies Program / ASYA) (11%)
School Children (31%)
In 1973, three adventurous Europeans planned to build a luxury ship to cruise the Mediterranean. The ship was barely finished when they ran out of money and sold her to a shipyard in Aberdeen. For one and a half years, Huan was left neglected among the more practical and less impressive fishing junks in Aberdeen.
One day, Dr. Philip Ney, a Professor of Child Psychiatry at Hong Kong University, spotted the Huan in Aberdeen Harbor and immediately recognized her potential as a training ship. Undaunted by her state of neglect, Dr. Ney and his friend Graham Bell, a ship surveyor, were convinced that the Huan was made for the purpose they had in mind: a floating classroom at sea for Hong Kong children. They combined their resources to buy the vessel in January, 1977. Later that year, Adventure-Ship registered as a charitable organization, beginning the first educational sailing program for young people in Hong Kong aboard the Huan. After a year of hard work by volunteers repairing the junk and refurbishing it using funds from donations and contributions from benefactors, Huan set out on its first sea voyage in February 1978. Symbolically, the ship's first voyage included a group of underprivileged children.
Adventure-Ship has continued its tradition of service and social integration through the years since that maiden voyage. Though several new training programs have been implemented to improve the experience for participants, and even though a new ship has replaced the Huan, Adventure-Ship's unwavering mission for positive personal change and continued impact on the lives of Hong Kong youth have remained constant.
In the Words of the Founder, Dr. Philip Ney
In September 1996, Executive Secretary Mimi Yeung interviewed Dr. Philip Ney, the founder of the Adventure-Ship Project, on board Robinson II, a sail training ship at Vancouver Island, Canada. For more on the history and philosophy of Adventure-Ship, read the following excerpts.
Mimi: Why is the project called Adventure-Ship?
Dr. Ney: In English, adventure means doing all kinds of daring things that young people like to do. Adventure-Ship (with a hyphen) is a play on words, to describe having a great time doing daring things on board. For the Chinese name, Huan, we understood that Chinese are very careful about names. In order to choose the right name, we paid a handsome fee for a Chinese name consultant to choose a name for us. I still hope that we did choose the right name.
Mimi: What were Hong Kongs social needs in 1977 when the project started?
Dr. Ney: I was a Child Psychiatrist at Queen Mary Hospital and in my work I came across lots of young people who were psychologically ill, delinquent, and disabled all were young people who had problems.
I had decided long ago that I have to put more emphasis on preventing the problem rather than treating the problem. Through sail training, people could build up a good sense of themselves, learn new skills and see the beauty of the place they live in all these things can prevent problems.
The young people who came to me led a restricted life the only life they knew was the streets of Hong Kong. That was such a shame, because there were lots of interesting places the beautiful waters, wonderful islands and lovely beaches! The streets of Hong Kong are only a small part of Hong Kong. I wanted to give them the chance to appreciate what Hong Kong is like.
Mimi: How does the training help?
Dr. Ney: I have always emphasized prevention, and healing is designed to prevent. You will notice that the longer you take young people out at sea, the greater the effect will be because the ocean is healing. In the ocean, there is the rhythm of the sea. Putting human bio-rhythms back in touch with the rhythm of nature this is healing in itself.
When you live in a big city, you work and sleep when you turn on and off the light. When you live at sea, you have to adjust your bio-system according to the rhythm of nature tides come and go, the sun comes up. The beauty of the ocean, the fresh air, the activity, learning how to cope with new skills, learning how to get cooperation to make the ship operate, are all healing qualities.
To most of the young people, authority comes from policemen. When you are at sea, authority is the ocean storms, nature. If you expose young people to the force of the sea and wind, they realize they are relatively small and insignificant. They become afraid and will turn to adults for assistance. The trainer will become a friend instead of an authority figure. In this way, you can change the attitude of delinquents from being against authority to cooperation with authority.
Mimi: Why did you decide on sailing?
Dr. Ney: The ocean is large and there are many types of activities you can do on the ocean, but not on land. On land, you eventually will come across a border, a street, a building or some other limitation. They are all confining. At sea, there are no limits and this will give children hope. They can see as far as their eyes can take them. They will think I can do that. Someday, somehow, I will move out and not be confined. They will realize the wonders of the ocean.
Most training you can do on land you can also do on a ship, such as cooking or repairing an engine. But training on a ship provides a lot of variety. A sailing ship in particular allows you to learn to harness natural forces. The forces of nature you dont have to fight they can work with you and for you.
Nowadays, too many children are exposed to TV programs and computers, and their enemy is nature. Nature is not an enemy. If you want to fight with it, you will be defeated eventually. But if you learn how to adapt to it, it can be your good friend. God made this world for us to enjoy, to learn from and to gain from it.
Sea training has been around for centuries brought their children out to sea. It will continue to have a great future, especially for building character and confidence.
David Ho joined Hong Kong Ferry (Holdings) Company Limited in 1981 and has been the Group General Manager since 1996. He has over 35 years of experience in ferry operations. He has been a member of the Board of Adventure-Ship since July 2009. Dr. Ho has also participated in various community services, including the Chairman of the Transport Logistics Training Board of The Vocational Training Council, a Member of the Logistics Industry Training Advisory Committee, a Director of The Shipowners’ Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association (Luxembourg), a Council Member of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Hong Kong, a Board Member of The Hong Kong Sea School, a General Committee Member of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries and the Chairman of the Transport and Logistics Services Council of the Federation.
Christopher Pooley served at sea in the British merchant Navy, where he obtained his Master Mariner's Certificate. He first arrived in Hong Kong upon joining Swire in 1971, and also served in various overseas postings including New Zealand, Iran, United Arab Emirates, and Singapore, all in shipping related businesses, as a director since 1985. In 1989 he was posted once again in Hong Kong, serving in various senior capacities until his retirement from the Group in August 2003. His final position was as CEO of the HUD Group [a joint venture with Hutchison]. Though traveling frequently, his home base is Hong Kong, where he is actively involved in charity work. Mr. Pooley sits on the Boards of the HK Sea School, Outward Bound School and, from February 2005, Adventure Ship, where he brought his extensive experience of commercial ship-building to the construction project of the Jockey Club Huan.
Daniel Yau joined the Adventure-Ship Youth Association in 1984 and became a member of Adventure-Ship in 1989. He has served on the Board of Directors since 1990. Daniel Yau is a technical staff member in a tertiary institution.
Although suffering from poliomyelitis, Daniel is a PADI Scuba Instructor. He has received the Acts of Kindness award presented by the HKJC in 1999.
Terence is the Principal of a local special school for students with mental handicaps. He obtained his B.S. degree in educational development from Illinois State University, USA. He also acquired a Post-Graduate Certificate and Masters Degree in Special Education from the University of Hong Kong.
Ms. Yeung has been a member of Adventure-Ship's Board of Directors since 1998. She is currently serving as an Educational Psychologist at the HKCCCU Logos Academy. She obtained her B.A. degree in Cognitive Psychology from the University of California, Irvine, a M.A.degree in Developmental and Educational Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, and another M.A. degree in School Guidance and Counseling from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include early childhood education, play therapy, gifted education, creativity and cross-cultural psychology.
Mr. Steve Y.O. Chor
After matriculation, Steve joined World Wide Shipping Limited as Deck Cadet in early 1970’s. Since then, he has served in different types of ship, in particular, OBO, bulk carrier and supertanker. He stayed with World Wide Shipping Limited until he received his Master’s license in Glasgow in 1984.
Steve then served in high speed ferries plying between Hong Kong and Macau and gained his command in HM5 Hovercraft. He joined Hong Kong Police Force in 1988 bringing his rich experience at sea to bear on the many training/operation issues in the Force. His last posting was the Commandant of Marine Police Training School.
After his retirement from the Force, Steve was still active in many maritime organizations apart from Adventure-Ship. He is now serving in a ferry company as Deputy General Manager.
Ir Steve S F Wong (MHKIE, MIEEE, MPMEC, MAES)
AMr. Steve Wong was born in Hong Kong and educated in Hong Kong Polytechnic and
Warwick University, UK. Mr. Wong is the Founder and Managing Director of
BillionGroup Technologies Limited.
With more than twenty-eight years’ electrical and mechanical consultancy experience and professional knowledge, Steve Wong is a professional Energy Consultant with core specialization in Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection for the Building and Manufacturing Industries. With his contribution in the manufacturing industries, Mr. Wong has helped many manufacturers in successfully reducing energy consumption and improving manufacturing competitiveness in their region. Apart from his business, Mr. Wong has been actively serving the community via different channels and organizations including but not limited to HKSAR Government, HKGCC, HKTDC, HKEnCA, FHKI, ESDI and IEAL.
The instructors of Adventure-Ship are multi-functional. Apart from leading the training programs , they are also the crew of the ship, responsible for its daily operation as well as repair and maintenance.
The Adventure-Ship Youth Association (ASYA) is a volunteer organization created
"to develop the leadership, potential and spirit of group cooperation in
young people, through outdoor training, volunteer and social service." ASYA
members have been a crucial part of the success of Adventure-Ship to date,
volunteering in regular training trips as well as Buddies trips.
Started in 1979 as a subsidiary of Adventure-Ship, ASYA registered as an independent society in 1992. ASYA is open to all persons who are over 18 years old. New members attend a training program that provides basic knowledge, skills, concepts, and practice in seamanship and voluntary services. Qualified members are eligible to serve as helpers onboard the JC Huan, assisting the crew and serving as counselors. Members also participate in community service and receive advanced level training in various disciplines organized by the Association.
For more information on ASYA, please visit their website:
Copyright © 2008 Adventure-Ship Limited. All rights reserved.