We offer hope to people overcoming physical limitations or personal loss through 1) coaching individuals, families and organizations affected by disability and other life defining circumstances in global communities and 2) training youth through outdoor sports and experiential educational programs so they become emerging servant leaders in their communities.
" We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations. When I think of vision, I have in mind the ability to see above and beyond the majority."
Our focus is to train and mobilize people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations so they become empowered servant leaders. We want to see them create sustainable social change not only in their communities but also in global communities.
Our message to every community is clear. Every person is made in the image of God. We all have a destiny. So we empower “the least, the lost and the left behind.” Everyone is visible, is valuable and we need their voice. Through service and biotechnology we create a level field where no one gets left behind.
We use the outdoors and sports as an experiential laboratory because as image bearers of God, we often find our original design on adventure in nature and in the healing power of community with diverse friends. When we hope again and find freedom in the adventure, then we are called to conqueror goals in our personal lives and give our lives away as agents of change and servant leaders.
Your gift will be used to fund PIA's mission to create sustainable social change in local and global communities.
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About Voyages Unbound Leadership Network
Leadership Through Outdoor & Sports Programs
The Adventure: We were founded as a secondary rehabilitation and “leadership through outdoor recreation and sports program” for youth and families with disabilities. The sailing program has been an award-winning program. The success of the program led to opportunities to develop new biotechnologies, influence and consult with global NGOs, identify and train indigenous emerging leaders and communities, advocate and advise on inclusive policies/practices within schools and governments. School districts, churches, universities, global NGOs and government programs have benefited from our training and consultation on inclusive leadership development.
Through outdoor and sports programs, youth regardless of ability, are provided with the opportunity to participate independently. We put cohorts together of diverse youth; those with disabilities and loss, those who know injustice and poverty and those who are high achieving upwardly mobile. This is an opportunity to promote friendships, community, and fun where physical or social limitations are no longer invasive.
I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let's face it, friends make life a lot more fun. Chuck Swindoll
Innovation - Invisible as Wind and Water: Accessible sailboats offer a different sailing experience than the team boats because they are designed to be sailed by one person. Not only do participants learn quicker, but also these sailboats allow the sailor to compete with able-bodied participants. These boats level the playing field by eliminating the physical condition of the sailors as a factor that impedes their performance. Each person can develop to his or her peak skill level. The technology and design of these sailboats allows able-bodied and disabled sailors to compete or have fun together, fully integrated.
Our fleet of boats includes sailboats designed by Don Martin, the famous America’s Cup designer. They are specially designed for people with disabilities, having a specially engineered seat built into the cockpit to accommodate limitations. They are stable and have self-tacking jibs and easy-to-handle mainsails. The helmsman is sitting mid-ship and facing forward. They were designed with an auto helm and adaptive equipment so even quadriplegics can sail the boat alone. It can be modified slightly to include the scope of sailors that are blind to high quadriplegics who can maneuver the boat independently with an auto-helm and joy stick mechanism (similar to power wheelchairs for high quadriplegics).
Do you know a cure for me? Why yes, he said, I know a cure for everything. Salt water. Salt water? I asked him. Yes, he said, in one form or another, sweat, tears or the salt sea. Isak Dinesen
Go Global - Coaching Beyond Our Shores: We coach and mentor emerging leaders in global communities to use their limitations and become globally engaged change agents. Many of those we work with are courageously going from places like Brazil to Portugal, Venezuela to North Africa and Korea to China. They carry a powerful mantle with significant social and economic impact. A person with a disability, limitation or loss can be one of the greatest keys to disarm whole communities and cultures locked down in shame and poverty. In “Shame and Honor” cultures people with disabilities are relationally shunned, hidden in thatched huts, suffer from the highest incidence of diseases and injustice (rape, torture, enslavement) and have almost no accessibility to jobs. So cross-cultural change agents with disabilities who are not bound with shame and who skillfully know how to navigate around social and economic limitations with the call and resolve to bring about positive change for others with disabilities, bring practical hope for people in “shame and honor cultures.”
“The most effective leaders don’t rise to power in spite of their weakness; they lead with power because of their weakness. It is their authenticity in limping leadership that compels others to follow them. If you are a leader–or if you have been making excuses to avoid leading–find out how to get the most from your weakness. ”
Leaders that come from marginalized backgrounds have a different trajectory in leadership development. When leaders move from the edges of society to the center, they lead with the whole of society in their hearts. And they need robust leadership training mixed with a practical vocational calling to give them sustainable platforms of influence in the communities that they are called to serve. But as they authentically lead with a triumph in their spirit that flows right through their weakness or brokenness, then others dare to rise up and hear the call of God for their lives above the intrusive impossibilities and reach out to other around the world.
“But what seemed to be failure from man’s standpoint was a triumph from God’s standpoint, because God’s purpose is never the same as man’s purpose. This bewildering call of God is like the call of the sea— no one hears it except the person who has the nature of the sea in him.” Oswald Chambers
“I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.” Jesus