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Here’s more information about SURFAID:
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, off Sumatra, Indonesia. Now SURFAID is a respected organization operating in the Mentawai, Nias, Telo and Banyak islands and will start work in Sumbawa, eastern Indonesia, in 2013.
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.
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.
WHY WE DO IT
In the islands where we work, more than 70 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line and there is a poor understanding of what constitutes good nutrition and good basic hygiene.
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.