The Kovalam Surf Club is a part of S.I.S.P. and outside the school hours we try to get the children of S.I.S.P. off the streets and on a surfboard. There is only one rule the children have to live by: `no school-no surfing`. This helps to motivate the children to give up their bohemian street habits and become regular students in order to make something of their lives. With the Kovalam Surf Club we also offer job careers to some of the older surfers who have finished their education. Unemployment is roaring in these areas and therefore to find a job which is well paid by doing something the youngsters like to do is very rare.
Sebastian Indian Social Projects (SISP) was founded in 1996 by Paul Van Gelder en Werner Fynaerts. It is a non-profit, charitable organization working in the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the most southern state of India, Kerala. The primary goal of S.I.S.P. is to improve the standards of living among the financially and socially disadvantaged sections of the society with a special focus on Vizhinjam village and surrounding areas.
S.I.S.P. works with the poorest by offering free education, training in self-employment (for women in difficult situations, destitute and unemployed youth), setting up saving schemes, micro credit unions, food support, old age care, disabled care, educational care etc. S.I.S.P. has an explicit commitment not to be involved in any religious activity and to work for the poorest among all communities. The doors of S.I.S.P. are open to all, irrespective his/her cast, sex or religion.
All members of the Kovalam Surf Club are local boys and girls from Kovalam and the surrounding villages. They all grew up in harsh living conditions due to extreme poverty, but surfing has had a positive influence on their lives. The key point is that all the surfing kids are regular at school and therefore will get a better chance in succeeding in life in a more humane way. But surfing also makes them proud and happy because for the first time in their life they get respect and attention for being good at something.
Kovalam Surf Club motivates kids from surrounding villages to get off the streets and into school by offering them free surf lessons but simultaneously strictly enforcing a “no school – no surfing” policyRead more