International humanitarian mission

“Sails of the spirit” – “Transforming the world through inclusive interaction”



From September 14 to October 3, 2019 the Mediterranean stage of the expedition “Sails of the spirit” with the support of the State atomic energy Corporation “Rosatom” will be held in Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt. The catamaran will cover the route Marmaris (Turkey) – Antalya (Turkey) – Kumkuyu (Turkey) – Tasucu (Turkey) Limassol (Cyprus) – Alexandria (Egypt) – Marmaris (Turkey). The expedition will include people with disabilities and people without disabilities from different cities and regions of Russia, Latvia, Sweden, Armenia and other countries.

The team of “Sails of the spirit” is engaged in the preparation and implementation of inclusive activities: yacht expeditions and regattas, social and cultural activities, in order to form a new positive model of interaction between people with disabilities and society.

Since 2011, inclusive (including people with disabilities) teams have been on fifteen expeditions in different parts of the world.

The goal of the “Sails of the spirit” project is the development of the inclusive yachting as an open model of manifestation of special talents and abilities of a person.

On October 3, 2019 in the city of Marmaris (Turkey), the “Sails of the spirit” team officially finished an expedition to the Mediterranean Sea.

Among the events were: a visit to the Association of Disabled and Families of Marmaris, a meeting with the Mayor of Marmaris, a meeting with the Governor, a presentation of the project in the Martha rehabilitation center for children with mental disabilities.

A flash mob took place on the central square near the Ataturk monument: members of the “Sails of the spirit” team, representatives of the Marmaris Society of Disabled People, people with disabilities and without, gave flowers to guests and citizen of Marmaris city.

During the 16th stage of the “Sails of Spirit” expedition in the Mediterranean Sea, 3 countries, 8 cities were visited. The team was led by Reinis Mezhulis, a yachtsman of the Riga yacht club “Auda”, a repeated participant in the project “Sails of the spirit”. The ideological inspirer of the project and the head of the humanitarian expedition program is Oleg Kolpashchikov (blind president of WHITE CANE NGO).

The expedition took place on the Fountaine Pajot Helia 44 M Lady Sophie sailing-motor catamaran, the crew included a total of 19 people with and without disabilities. For the first time as part of the “Sails of the spirit” expeditions around the world, the crew included Turkish citizens – Tulgay Hasar, president of the Marmaris Association of Disabled and Families, Gokhan Kaniomri his deputy. In Antalya, Ahmet Irdel, a professional cook from Turkey who recently lost his sight, joined his crew, and his wife Natalya Smychkova-Irdel, a fitness trainer and organizer of eco-camps for children. In the transition Kumkov – Tasucu participated: President of the Parliament of the Council of the Disabled – Dursun Arslan and Metin Ünel, regional representative of the hearing impaired athletes. The team also included: Johannes Marcel (yachtsman, teacher for children with mental disabilities, Sweden), Edgars Zakis (yachtsman from Latvia), Andrey Kolmakov (head of social adaptation at the Ural Without Drugs Association, Yekaterinburg), Soktueva Aryuna ( blind girl from Buryatia, pediatric nurse, volunteer, Ulan-Ude), Samvel Rostomyan (President of the Armenian National Disabled Sports Federation, Yerevan), Anna Mirkina (Prizewinner of the Russian Wheelchair Dance Cup, actress and participant in the Hollywood show, Tyumen), Mikhail Voitcekhovskii (blind vice president of ANO “WHITE CANE”, freediver – dives holding his breath for 33 meters, Yekaterinburg), Viktor Klokov (yachtsman, one of the founders of the project “Sails of the spirit”, Taganrog), Larisa Yudina (blind singer, founder own vocal school, Yekaterinburg), Ivan Biryukov (geologist, volunteer of the Open School for Sustainable Development, coordinator of “Sails of the spirit” project, Yerevan), Tatyana Dzhemileva (photographer, video operator, freediver).

This year, the cities of the Mediterranean Sea hosted Days of inclusion, which include seminars on inclusive interaction, inclusive workshops and environmental events, flash mobs, round tables, inclusive concerts and training on inclusive sailing. All the events were attended by about 700 people, among the participants more than a third with disabilities. The workshops on inclusive interaction trained more than 200 specialists in the field of inclusion.

The main results of the expedition

1) Agreements were reached on the participation of new partners from Turkey, Cyprus and Egypt in the international conference of Extrability in Yekaterinburg on December 12 – 13, 2019.

2) To organize a fraternity of non-profit organizations in Russia of Turkey and other countries working in the field of the formation of an inclusive culture in society.

3) Agreements were reached on future projects in Turkey and Egypt to train local specialists in the field of inclusive social design and employment of people with disabilities.

4) A preliminary plan of the expedition “Sails of Spirit” in the Mediterranean Sea 2020, including an inclusive sailing festival on the island of Cyprus, was formed.

The events took place:

Partners: Marmaris Belediyesi (Administration of Marmaris), Marmaris Kent Konseyi, Russian Society for Culture and Cooperation of Marmaris (Marmaris Rus Kültür ve İşbirlği Derneyi), Engelli ve Aileleri Birliği Derneği; City administration Antalya, the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Antalya, Russian society Antalya, Coordinating Council organizations Russian compatriots in Turkey, Türkiye Sakatlar Derneği Antalya Şubesi, Aktif Engelliler GSK Derneği, Beyaz Baston, Tempo flowers; Akkuyu Nuclear Information Center, The Ministry of Social Services of the city of Mersin, Turkiye Sakatlar Dernegi, Otistik Cocuklari Kazanma ve Yasatma Dernegi, Beyaz Ay Dernegi, Gorme Engelliler Dernegi; Tasucu City Administration, Silifke Village House of Russian Culture, Russian cultural center (Nicosia), Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Cyprus, Stelios Ioannou Foundation, Families Solidarity Association with Disabilities, Russian Cultural Center (Alexandria), Rotary Club of Alexandria Cosmopolitan, Yacht Club Of Egypt Alexandria (Y.C.E), Rotary yacht club, Alexandria Association for Blind

Detailed information about the “Sails of the spirit” project, the conditions of participation and the necessary training is available here: A detailed description of the Mediterranean stage of the “Sail of the spirit” expedition is available here:

To track the catamaran route, please follow the link

Partners of the humanitarian mission “Sails of the spirit” in 2019:

  • State Atomic Energy Corporation «Rosatom»;
  • Federal Agency “Rossotrudnichestvo”;
  • Rotary Club of Alexandria Cosmopolitan;
  • Coordinating Council of Organizations of Russian Compatriots in Turkey;
  • LLC Institute of management design and competitive strategies;
  • Travel company “Eldorado tour”.


Oleg Kolpashchikov,

The head of the project

Tel.: +7 (906) 810-22-88


Ivan Biryukov

The coordinator of the project

Tel: +7 (913) 100 40 93