Wärtsilä has made a 10 year anchor partner agreement with the Sail Training Association Finland (STAF), a non-profit charity organisation founded to organise sail training voyages, especially for the young.
Sail Training Association Finland, one of the founding members of the international parent organisation Sail Training International, supports young people with special needs, aiming at teaching them the importance of taking responsibility, independency and skills for working in groups.
The activities of the association are based on volunteer work with over 200 seafaring professionals and sailing enthusiasts working as members of the permanent crew of sail training vessels. Since 1983, STAF has arranged sail training voyages for young people on a regular basis. Their flagship Schooner Helena was launched in 1992. By 2011, over 19 250 trainees had taken part on a sail training voyage and the sail training vessels had crossed the Atlantic Ocean 57 times. This summer the association will organise their first sailings for persons with visual disability as well as sail training voyages together with the union for deaf people in Finland.
The cooperation with companies such as Wärtsilä and governmental institutions is crucial for the existence of the association, enabling it to continue its valuable work especially for youth with special needs. Sail Training Association Finland was established in 1973.