We are a social enterprise, so we pair business and charity. Lombok is a paradise, and it's easy to fall in love with it. With incredible surf guides, the most amazing scenery and the friendliest people, we'll show you the best of what Lombok has to offer. And there is a lot to show! Crucially though, we want to ensure that the impact from tourism is positive, both socially and environmentally. We've just launched (June 2019), but we dream big and we're trying to set up our own foundation that focuses on women (hence our name!) by 2021. In the mean time, we are supporting some amazing people who are achieving incredibly difficult change. We have a grommet sponsorship programme to get a few more girls surfing and also provide English lessons as well as other activities with the hope to support the extraordinary talent of the kids here. The other 66% of our profits are reinvested to grow the business, and saved up so that we can set up our foundation, help more people, and hopefully some day expand the model to other Islands.
Where we're at with women's rights
What's the link between surfing and women's rights? Not much; we're just people who care about surfing and care about people.
Our aim is to help the women who need a hand. Be it before they need it, when they need it the most, or after they have gotten through the worst of it, and to enable women to have more influence in governance. We have spent a lot for time looking for grass-roots organisations in Lombok with no luck and as we only launched in June 2019, we aren't in a position to create the foundation we dream of, or hire the necessary gender expert to ensure that we aren't just another ineffective NGO. None-the-less, we have a vision that tackles 3 main areas, and we will launch by 2021:
Child bride education: Child marriage is high in Lombok, with ~11% of 15 year old females being married. At the the point of marriage, education usually ceases and child-rearing begins. Serial marriage in Lombok is common, with a male-instigated 3 strikes and you are out divorce system which leaves the mother with no right to the children. Post divorce, women may marry again after 100 days, and having missed out on basic education, they are unqualified for work and must re-marry for any security. They remain financially dependent on their husbands. We will introduce a vocational training course for divorced women to help free themselves of this financial dependency and keep them out of poverty.
Safe-house for abusive relationships: in a study of 500 married women, 43% report emotional and physical domestic abuse in West Nusa Tenggara, with 11% reporting physical abuse and 5.6% reporting physical abuse during pregnancy. 10% of married women have feel they no safe place to go (family or friends), so our doors are always open to any woman who feels they need our help, This isn't enough, We'd like to establish a locally run, stigma free safe-house which not only gives shelter to women and their children, but also gives support in establishing a sustainable solution for the future.
Higher Education Sponsorships: In order to affect long-standing change, there needs to be high level representation of women in politics, governance and business. This is a slow game, and only achievable through sponsoring the brightest and most engaged girls all the way through tertiary education, so that they hold positions which will influence the treatment of females. This is an expensive route, but will help a huge number of people in the long run. Taking our lessons or camps is more than we could ask for, but If you are in a position to sponsor a girl, please let us know, as we already have candidates.
Our current situation:
Until we have set up a foundation which supports females, or have found a community level partner which does, we are supporting our group of girls in every way possible. It has been difficult to plan surf sessions working around schooling, the tides and the weather/swell and therefore we are currently trying out a consistent schedule where we meet at the same time twice a week. We use this time for education, including English, environmental awareness and any other subject or sport that we are able to share knowledge about. When the conditions are in our favour we go surfing!
Grommets are kid surfers, and we are helping 3 females. Meet Kaisha, Kiki and aquilla. Some of the most lovely girls you could ever meet, and with raw talent and a great mindset, we are so grateful our paths crossed. We provide them with everything they need and they provide us with smiles, laughter and warm hearts. Light skin is important to locals, and so we provide full body cover, suncream as well as the lessons and boards. There is currently only one female surf instructor in Lombok, and we hope to change that!