"The answer to that is very simple: big smiles 🙂 Those smiles assure us that we are able to make a difference and with that difference create a platform for a better and sustainable future for those kids joining the program."
You provide the kids with lessons in swimming, surfing and environmental awarenes. What do you think is the most important thing they learn during the project and does the project have an impact beyond the time they are participating?
"Mostly thats the environmental impact. There are kids starting trash programs, separating waste in orphanages, starting kitchen gardens, making things from trash to sell. For some (older) kids it also means a chance for a future, we have kids that are now grown ups working as surf instructors or surf photographer."
Can you tell us about one of the kids who made an outstanding progress with the soul surf project?
"The perfect example is Dani, a Balinese girl who used to live in an orphanage with her sisters. She used to have no future due to her back handicap, but a big dream to be photographer. We found out when she joined our swimming program, for her as a way of physiotherapy. Together with RipCurl we created an internship for her to learn photographing. She did an awesome job and within 3 months became house photographer at RipCurl. With that we were able to take her out of poverty and to make her dream, despite her handicap, happen!"