WHO WE ARE
SurfAid is a non-profit humanitarian organization 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 needless suffering and preventable death in the Mentawai Islands. Now SURFAID is a respected organisation operating in the Mentawai, Nias, Telo and Banyak islands off Sumatra, and in Sumba and Sumbawa in eastern Indonesia. We also assisted in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
SurfAid is supported by individuals, surfing organisations, corporations, leading philanthropic foundations and the Australian and New Zealand governments, and has received NGO (non-government organization) accreditation from the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
WHAT WE DO
SurfAid, in partnership with communities and government, works to prevent disease, suffering and death through health promotions that aim to change unhealthy behaviors and reduce the risk from natural disasters so that people are better equipped to help themselves.
Our community-based health programs involve education in nutrition, hygiene, healthy environments, and disease prevention - including mosquito net distribution. In response to an unfortunately frequent need, we have built an award-winning capacity in emergency preparedness and have been a core agency responding to major disasters.
WHY WE DO IT
In the islands where we work, more than 70 percent of the population lives below the poverty line and there is a poor understanding of what constitutes good nutrition and good basic hygiene.
The tsunami that smashed the Mentawai on October 25, 2010, took over 500 lives. The subduction zone west of Sumatra releases approximately every 200 years. The start of this cycle caused the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The area next to the northern Mentawai is still to release and experts say it could have the force of 8.5 to 8.9 Magnitude - “a Great Quake” - which could lead to another major tsunami.
Our programs are designed to empower the people in the communities in which we work, aiming to bring about long-term behavior change that will reduce statistics of child mortality and malnutrition.
WHERE WE WORK
We deliver our programs in the Mentawai, Nias, Telo and Banyak Islands off Indonesia’s Sumatran coast, and in Sumba and Sumbawa in eastern Indonesia.
The local people in this isolated and unique island chain face many life-threatening challenges, with diseases such as acute respiratory infection, diarrhea 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 tsunami and earthquake add to the challenge of improving the health and wellbeing of the village communities.