SURF TO SCHOOL | Good Grades, Good Vibes, Stoked!
Red is 8 years old—stocky but gentle, shy but charming. Pareng Red as he is fondly called in the happy shores of Pundakit, is a darling when he rides his board. He paddles effortlessly & balances steadily on his speeding board. In the recent grom comp held in Zambales, Red was the crowd’s favorite; not for his technical skills but for the joy & inspiration he brought to the cheering audience.
Aurora, Zambales, Siargao, Eastern Samar & La Union are just among the top surfing destinations in the Philippines. The kids here are born to the sea, the universe right across their doorsteps. They grow up becoming surfing prodigies of master wave riders in the country.
But behind those images of hanging loose, these beach boys & girls are going through life’s real barrels to endure.
Surf or School
Keeping these kids to stay in school is a far more serious challenge than just waiting for the right swell at sea. They wallow on mediocrity in class & often these children do not even successfully make it to high school.
The hard realities of life such as poverty, inadequate educational facilities & the availability of equal opportunities are what make these children drop out from school. And when they’re not in the classroom, you see them out in the sea playing.
Surf to School Program
The Surf to School Program is a collective effort of wave warriors in helping these children sustain their interest to stay in school. It aspires to persuade groms to live a balanced life both in school & in the sea.
Surf buddies Edz & Nika midwifed this brilliant outreach program in 2014. With the immense support from their friends & volunteers, the program dreams to create positive social changes in the surfing communities that selflessly shared their breaks.
Through its tight network of volunteers, donation of school bags & supplies in various surf spots in the Philippines were seamlessly rolled out. It already reached the shores of Baler, Pundakit, Siargao, La Union, Puraran, Bagasbas, Quezon, Pagudpud & Sorsogon and by the end of the year it would have made about 400 surfer kids happy.
Barely a year since its inception, grom comps have already been held in Baler, Aurora & San Antonio in Zambales.
These competitions have greatly helped in reinforcing the program’s mission to the groms & to their families in understanding the importance of education without abandoning their dreams to become good surfers.
Participants of the competition got loads of school supplies & freebies while winners brought home surfing stuff & full-year education stipends. Generous benefactors of the program—-friends, surfers & local brands donated all of these surprises without the need for grandstanding exposures.
From Plyboard to Surfboard
Like most of the local kids in underprivileged surfing communities, John Joey Agasa, the pride of Zambales, learned how to surf on a cutout plyboard! Isn’t it heartbreaking to see them on their make-believe surfboard?
This lack of resources has led these children to think of creative ways to overcome the scarcities. But through the help of some sponsors, Surf to School Program was able to donate pre-loved surfboards to the groms of Pundakit & Baler.
How You Can Help
Do you love to share your excesses? Do you sincerely want to reach-out without expecting your brand name up on a streamer? Do you like to volunteer? Then be a part of a real charity—-working incognito but living larger than life.
You may send in your support by sponsoring a school bag at P160. Each bag contains notebooks & ballpens. If you have other good plans on how to make Surf to School an epic org, contact the program coordinators through Facebook.
We have a huge population of unfortunate kids who are born to unwanted situations. But we can help them triumph from life’s foreboding wipeouts. Let us be their caddies to success—-as good, learned surfers.
If you think it’s worth your love, rally round the Surf to School Program now & let’s all make it a stoked world!