Dr. Dave Jenkins has two passions: helping those in need and surfing. In 2000, those two passion merged and became SurfAid. It all started when Dr. Jenkins set out to the Mentawai Islands in search of the perfect wave. It was there, in a small village, that he stumbled across several little graves of small children. These children and their families were dying from malaria, malnutrition, and inadequate living conditions. “Nearly 1 in 10 Mentawai children do not make it to the age of 5.” As a doctor, he knew these deaths could be preventable.
SurfAid “is a non-profit humanitarian organization whose aim is to improve the health, well-being and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing.” They work with local partnerships in six different areas of need: Community Based Health, Malaria Program, Water and Sanitation, Emergency Preparedness, Emergency Response, and School Programs. For each area of need, SurfAid sets a goal and then works hard to complete it. An example of this would be the Malaria Program. They set a goal to provide malaria education to 80 percent of the community, provide mosquito nets to 80 percent of the community, “develop a surveillance and response system, in partnership with [the] Mentawai Health Department”, and “support health posts in the training and use of rapid diagnostic testing and artesenuate combined therapy for detection and treatment of malaria.” In 2001, the Malaria Program solely started in the village of Taileleu. By 2006, their goal had expanded to a total of 206 villages, reaching 65,000 people.
To learn more about SurfAid International, click here.