June 2019: Support your tribe – SurfAid

Nothing like a bit of an incident when you’re travelling in a remote area to provide a sharp reminder of how lucky we are to have the health care we do in Australia. And how many people in other places are going without that level of medical support and resources.

We recently got back from a ten-day family holiday in Indonesia. Highlights included meeting lovely people, relaxing overlooking gorgeous tropical views, and escaping Melbourne’s freezing winter for a while. As with any travel to less developed countries there was also a healthy dose of guilt involved: environmental damage via our flights, inequality of lifestyles, the ability to pay for activities geared exclusively to tourists.

The one activity our kids had their hearts set on was surfing. We’ve all surfed before, but by no means are anywhere near proficient… as evidenced by our collection of surfing injury stories. The fact that we have surfing injury stories should have been warning in itself, but off we went surfing again nevertheless. Because it’s so much fun!

And as a result of our hedonistic pursuits we have a new surfing injury tale to add to our set. Whoever saw that coming?!

Being injured on a remote third-world island, a good hour or two by boat and road from the nearest hospital, brought home rapidly how lucky we are to have the healthcare we do in Melbourne.

So of course it was top of mind when thinking about where to make this month’s charity donation – it had to go to some sort of effective health care charity, preferably in Indonesia.

It completely tickled my fancy when we found SurfAid. What could be more perfect for this month’s donation, than a tribe of surfers who have banded together to push a wave of support to the health, well being and self reliance of people in isolated regions, including Indonesia?

SurfAid aim to provide very practical support – think materials to build water tanks, water taps and toilets for clean water and sanitation, mosquito nets to avoid malaria, materials for community health posts to support pregnant women, mothers and children, and materials for evacuation roads to help communities escape to safety if another tsunami hits. They are aiming to build the capacity of community members, schoolchildren, community health volunteers and relevant government staff to increase the independence and health status of communities and reduce the risk from natural disasters.

It’s a big thank you to the SurfAid tribe from us for their work in these remote communities. And for now, maybe we’ll just be sticking to dry land for a while.