The Perfect Wave sends hundreds of stoked surfers to the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia every year. We love the great waves, the quality, consistency and variety of waves. We love the friendly locals, the pristine beaches and the remoteness of the area. It is truly an unmatched part of this planet for any surf adventurer.
However, the area is one of the poorest regions of Indonesia and the local communities have long been battling poor health and poverty-related issues. It is up to us, surfers, to give back to the communities that welcome us to their homeland every year. The Perfect Wave is committed to giving back to the communities that are not as lucky as we are.
SurfAid is a non-profit humanitarian organisation whose aim is to improve the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing.
SurfAid was started by a group of concerned surfers in 2000 who were struck by the suffering and preventable death in the Mentawai Islands. SurfAid now operates in the Mentawai, Nias, Telo and Banyak islands in western Indonesia, and Sumbawa and Sumba in eastern Indonesia.
Many of the world’s best surf destinations are remote and people in remote areas are often forgotten, as delivering services there is costly, time-consuming and requires serious efforts. SurfAid passionately believes that no matter where you live, you have a right to access quality basic services.
People are facing many life-threatening challenges, with diseases such as acute respiratory infection, diarrhoea and malaria, plus birth complications, taking a serious toll. Malnutrition is an everyday reality for both children and adults, and natural disasters in the form of tsunamis and earthquakes add to the challenge of improving the health and wellbeing of the village communities.
SurfAid delivers a pragmatic mix of practical support and capacity building to achieve behaviour change. It provides materials to build water tanks, water taps and toilets for clean water and sanitation, mosquito nets to avoid malaria, and vegetable seeds to help establish nutrition gardens to eradicate malnutrition. But it is the capacity building of community health volunteers, schoolchildren, community members and relevant government staff that really lies at the heart of what SurfAid does.
The World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO) honoured SurfAid with their humanitarian award in 2007, ahead of more than 49,000 other not-for-profits. WANGO said: “SurfAid embodies the positive values inherent in surfing, namely individualism, courage, dynamism, and adaptability, and seeks to harness these attributes in implementing projects with measurable results.”
To make a donation, please visit www.surfaid.org
From 2014, The Perfect Wave is giving you, our clients, the option to donate online when you pay for your upcoming surf trip. We are also matching these donations to double your contribution.