Geographic Storytelling and the Restoration of Vinka

For: Adriatic Maritime Institute
Organizer: James Bender
of $6,250 goal
100% Complete
Raised by 67 donors
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

For 7 years, Adriatic Maritime Institute (AMI) has worked to preserve maritime heritage using traditional boats as a platform for youth development. AMI helps students practice maritime skills, take part in traditional agriculture, and learn about ecology by providing summer expeditions in the Adriatic and inland regions for foster youth and young people in the care of the state.   

~Gifts and Giving~We appreciate you generosity at any amount, and every bit helps! If you donate, we would like to thank you with a gift!

~$35 Vinka Crew Shirt~
Receive a custom printed shirt made by us at Aesthetic Union in San Francisco. Sharing these shirts has been key to supporting meaningful programs. 


~Geographic Storytelling~

The Kornati Islands represent one of the most expansive archipelagos in the Adriatic with more that 130 islands in a 40 mile network of parks and marine protected areas. The area itself has been used as an agricultural region for several centuries. Each year during our expedition, we have paired younger generation students with elders from the community to learn the skills, trades, and knowledge that has been passed down. This year we will add an extra layer though recording audio and video interviews. Our students will record stories and song and details about historical events so that they may be preserved in several mediums. One unique aspect of the documentation project will be the incorporation of a geographic element to the storytelling. To facilitate the stories that the students are hearing, we will use a scale relief map of the Islands. The elders will point out the locations on the map that events have happened. This will help to construct the stories as in a place-based educational system that can help to bring out a geographical dimension that is not present in standard storytelling framework. The goal of this project is to begin to use standard field methods with our students to build a repository for future generations.

~The Restoration of Vinka~
The boat itself is essential for the preservation of knowledge as it is the focus in which the knowledge is anchored. The paradox of maritime preservation is that boat cannot exist without the knowledge and likewise the knowledge cannot exist without the boat. in 2016 AMI located a boat that was originally used for fishing in the far reaches of the islands, since then, we have been involved in the repair and restoration of this historic boat, Vinka. Last summer we completed a major refit, replanking the hull and fitting a new stem. This summer we will build mast and rigging for the boat so that it can be used as our research vessel during the summers expeditions. 

What we are raising money for:
Our goal this year is to raise $6250. Donations will be used for the Geographic Storytelling Expedition which will take place in the Kornati Islands, in Croatia at the end of June and the on-going boatbuilding programs taking place on the island of Murter July through August.

donations will used to:

  • give a week long summer camp to 12 students from homes in Split, and Sisak, Croatia to cover the cost of transportation, food for students and additional camping equipment
  • Cover the cost of housing students, camping fees and boats and rentals for the duration of the camp
  • Provide materials for boatbuilding workshops including wood, paints and other consumables for the restoration of Vinka
donations will NOT be used as salary for AMI members

Why you should give:
AMI is a small Croatian non-profit organization that was founded with the goal of preserving heritage by helping kids. We keep our organization small so that we can do the most with a modest budget. 

Over the past seven years AMI has:
  • Worked with Croatian and Bosnian youth homes from around the region
  • had more than 250 students participate in various boat building and on water programs
  • Created the signature expeditions Watermelon Voyage, Kornati Adventure, and the Peace River Odyssey
  • Help more than 20 students get captains licenses
It is a great project! No where else are students engaged in collecting stories, building boats, and sailing in such a combination of mutual integrated tasks. As an oral history, maritime skills, island agriculture and ecology project, our work has developed organically from working with the local inhabitants of the islands and sharing those stories with young people. 

We really appreciate your support!
Over the past 5 years crowdfunding has been a big part of our annual budget. We feel that engaging people in our projects helps to spread the word of the work that we do, as well as allows people the opportunity to help students learn about maritime heritage. Thanks for your time and support!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on May 14, 2018


Posted on May 14, 2018

The Three bridge Tour is now full!
Please let others in you party know!

Looking forward to sailing with you all Sunday!

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