(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Kuwaiti "Journey of Hope" boat, on a marathon worldwide mission to propagate the cause of people with mental disabilities and the need to be heedful of issues close to their hearts, docked on Sunday at Jeddah port to a welcome by Kuwaiti diplomats.
The State of Kuwait General Consul, Saleh Al-Saqaabi, said in a statement that the multi-station tour by the boat came to light due to an idea by parents of children of mental challenges. "The journey of hope is supported by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who has given instructions to furnish the mission with all requirements; such a gesture is well known on part of His Highness the Amir." Al-Saqaabi expressed gratitude to the parents and the crew for contributing to portraying the true and positive image of the State of Kuwait in the sector of humanitarian activities. He also thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for providing all needed facilities to the expedition since the boat entered the country's territorial waters and sailed to the port of Jazan, before sailing to Jeddah.
Yusuf Abdulhamid Al-Jassem, the executive chief of the mission, said the boat crossed up to 2,400 nautical miles before ending up in Jeddah, its sixth and last stop in the Gulf region. It would proceed next to Egyptian territorial waters via the Suez canal.
This journey propagates a humanitarian message for those of mental challenges, namely the autistic and down's syndrome cases, as well other mental cases, he said, adding that it would later sail to Europe before heading for Washington to deliver a special message to the Special Olympics for the mentally retarded. On the way back, the expedition will be celebrated in up to 19 countries, he said.
The Kuwait sea adventure is scheduled for seven months. The boat crosses up to 17,000 nautical miles, visits a total of 20 states and docks at 39 harbors.
Jassem Al-Rushaid Al-Bader and Badi Al-Dosari, accompanying their mentally children in the sea adventure -- Meshaal and Khaled -- said they were highly elated with the elaborate and warm reception at the Saudi port which gave them a boost to carry on with their mission to promote this great cause and transmit such a significant humanitarian message to the world.
The 88-foot boat carrying the 16 crew members was entirely made by Kuwaiti craftsmen, and the crew includes nine navigation officers from the Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense.