YWAM Ships Newcastle deployed for the second time to the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea in August 2019. In September, the crew provided some training seminars to locals of Alotau and the Samarai island. 


We started providing Marine Training Seminars during our first deployment (October 2017-May 2018) to Milne Bay. One of our trainees was Saito Benjamin, a local from Alotau. As we returned, we were thrilled to meet with him again, and hear about the impact the training had on his life. 


Saito was volunteering with YWAM Alotau when he heard news of the s/v Ruach and of opportunity for him to get involved. His interest in sailboats lead him to become a part of our sail training. Following the completion of the seminar, he decided to participate in night watches. After being involved in those for a while, he decided to begin living on board full time helping with outreaches to the islands of the province. 


“I really wanted to join full time as a volunteer to help the people communicate with the locals. Most people on board can’t speak the local languages so I wanted to help out and bring my skill to the team.” 


During Saito’s time living on board, he was welcomed and encouraged by the Ruach’s family-like, diverse atmosphere. 


“Everyone on board was very encouraging. I saw a change in my life after living on board… My biggest highlight was that I’ve never been with a group of people from different cultures. I loved learning about where everybody came from.”


Once Saito’s time on the ship came to an end, he continued volunteering with YWAM Alotau before using his experience with the s/v Ruach to get a job. 


“Because of the training that I’ve gone through on the ship, I gained some skills which made me eligible for a job… A local resort took me on as a boat operator and then [I] got a job as a deckhand on another boat.”


We love being able to empower young people with practical skills that open doors for work opportunities. We are looking forward to equipping more people like Saito during our upcoming medical and training outreaches, starting again this November!