Sick or cured, joining hands for life!

The nonprofit Matelots de la Vie uses the challenge of an ocean tour to propose an ecological partnership between hospitalized children and adolescents who are cured or in remission. In 2011, for the 7th expedition, the adolescents will head out for the shores of Brittany.

Social and Employment

Coast of Brittany, France

Benoît Ringot

10,000 € to the Selection Committee at 2011/04/05

Project leader

Matelots de la vie

"Over and above heath and outreach, the subjects addressed daily by the children are cultural and environmental topics on which I will personally supply their needs."

Benoît Ringot

Since 2005, the nonprofit Matelots de la Vie has organized a maritime adventure for children who are or have been hospitalized. Young adolescents, cured or in remission from serious illnesses, sail for a month on a sailing ship and share their daily adventures with the children of the hospitals, via the videos that they transmit from the ship and a vast game of enigmas that unfolds via the internet on the nonprofit's website. The aim of this adventure is to instill hope and courage in the children who, far from the sea and the ocean, fight against the disease during these two summer months, and also to raise their awareness of the threats weighing on the Earth by teaching them that caring for Humans is only meaningful if one also cares for Nature. Every year, about 2 500 children hospitalized in the pediatric wards of more than 25 hospitals in France, participate in this extraordinary adventure.

Fishing, island life and Breton culture

In 2011, the expedition will visit the shores of Brittany, from St Quay Portrieux to St Nazaire, in partnership with the Oceanopolis Marine Center of Brest. On the program, meeting with the gray seals and cetaceans of the Iroise marine nature park, study of the flora of nature and ornithological reserves, plus fishing, island life and Breton culture. But to complete the 2011 adventure, the nonprofit needs to renew its video equipment; enlarge its fleet of computers provided to the hospitalized children; and buy appropriate apparel for the young sailors. Ocean oblige!

The Veolia Foundation, which already partnered the 2006 adventure, is contributing this year to the purchase of the video equipment and the computers.