Geoff Helisma, Clarence Valley Independent
A small team of Lower Clarence women have found a great way to do charitable work while they exercise among the waves.
‘Swell Sisters’ – Clair Morton, Shannon Grainger, Emy Alexander and Georgie Smith – are on a mission to raise funds for SurfAid¸ which provides “a hand up, rather than a handout, to people in remote communities connected to us through surfing,” says Clair.
The makeawave.com.au/challenge website says that “all the money … raised, as part of the challenge, goes directly to support the health and wellbeing of families in remote surf communities”.
The challenge is to surf every day in September – rain, hail or shine – to “create a ripple effect and bring clean water, sanitation, food security and basic healthcare to families in the places we love to surf”.
“The mission is to foster healthy remote surfing communities,” says Clair, “and to raise money for women and children’s programs in communities in Indonesia, the Solomon Islands and [Baja Sur], Mexico, as well.
“And to make changes through mother and child health programs [for example] … like providing healthcare access by training midwives and community health volunteers.
“[SurfAid] installs water facilities in remote communities and … fosters food security by creating nutrition gardens and running cooking classes and education programs.
“…In Indonesia, a mother dies in childbirth every three hours and 20 babies die every hour: so it’s a pretty important mission.
“[People] can make a donation by going to makeawave.com.au/swellsisters.
“There is a number of suggested donation amounts but, honestly, anything counts, and anything over $2 is tax deductible.”
This article appeared in the Clarence Valley Independent, 8 September 2021.