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Help Empower Sri Lankan Women Through Surfing

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Help Sri Lankan women and girls experience the joy of the ocean and empower the next generation of women leaders! Most Sri Lankan women are missing out from the recreational and economic benefits of swimming and surfing that tourists and men enjoy.

We are SeaSisters, and since 2018, we have been providing a safe space for Sri Lankan women to enjoy the ocean, while creating a community of changemakers who advocate for gender equality in Sri Lanka!

Facing Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis, we now need your support to keep going with our Swim & Surf Program! Our SeaSisters need our free swim and surf lessons more than ever, offering them invaluable mental benefits, especially during these challenging times.

With your help, we will be able to successfully run the 6th season of lessons, while empowering more Sri Lankan women and creating livelihood opportunities!

Thank you for your support,
Your SeaSisters Team
Kalpa, Thamali, Udani, Mahishaa, Martina & Amanda

Read more about our work and how your support helps to change the lives of Sri Lankan women!

Creating Equal Opportunities for Sri Lankan Women
In Sri Lanka, local women and girls are hardly seen in the ocean. Whereas tourists come to enjoy the beautiful beaches, Sri Lankan women are usually expected to be inside their homes. Despite growing up on an island, most Sri Lankan women never learnt how to swim, and thus, fear the ocean.

It’s so sad that every day one Sri Lankan woman drowns because they lack these vital skills! For decades, there's almost been no improvement in the situation.

This is the result of traditional gender norms and cultural expectations that has prevented the ocean from becoming 'an accepted space' for women. Especially in rural areas, women have been confined to their homes, expected to care for their families. Being excluded from recreational activities like swimming and surfing has denied women the mental and economic benefits that could substantially enhance their well-being and livelihoods!

We’re on a mission to change this!!

We believe that women deserve the same opportunities as men. And that swimming and surfing can serve as powerful tools of social change.

Our vision is a world in which women are empowered to enjoy the ocean and follow their dreams!

SeaSisters is a non-profit organisation in Sri Lanka, empowering women and girls through swimming and surfing since November 2018. We offer free swim and surf lessons for women from underprivileged communities in a safe, all-female environment.

Our lessons also serve as a platform to influence mindsets around gender norms and educate about environmental challenges.

Over the years, we positively impacted the lives of many Sri Lankan women and girls. The impact is not only felt in the water, but in daily life too. Learning in a safe space has empowering health-promoting effects, such as seeing new possibilities, changing cultural perceptions, overcoming fears and trauma, creating new friendships and support systems, learning new skills, and feeling a sense of community, sisterhood and collective power.

Help Us to Support Sri Lankan Women in Difficult Times
Our journey has not been an easy one. Through a lot of determination and resilience, we made it through the Covid-19 pandemic, and are now facing Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis. The recent economic crisis has enforced the hardships faced by women. Economic woes, foreign exchange challenges, and political instability have led to skyrocketing prices for essential goods and services, making it increasingly difficult for ordinary people, including women, to afford basic necessities.

We are 100% committed to supporting our community during this crisis.

Our lessons provide a support system, essential mental wellbeing effects through ocean experiences and livelihood opportunities for our local team.

SeaSister Tharundya expressing her gratitude for our work

Despite all the challenges, we came back stronger than ever - and we are just about to start our 6th season of our Swim & Surf Program in December. This season, we’re also launching our Surf Academy for talented and motivated young women, offering them job opportunities in the growing surf tourism industry. Furthermore, we regularly run Community Events, educating about women's health and environmental sustainability.

We are extremely proud that our program is now run by talented young Sri Lankan women, who are leading the next generation of empowered women.

Meet our local team: Udani (ocean educator), Kalpa and Thamali (co-directors)

With your support we can make sure to secure the salaries to our local staff, and provide livelihood opportunities for these young women.

Support Us Now To Empower More Women!
In these tough economic times, your support means the world. Your support will:
  • Empower Local Women Through Employment
  • Cover Operational Expenses for Swim & Surf Program
  • Launch the Surf Academy
  • Provide Training for Local Leadership
  • Support Community Outreach and Awareness
  • Contribute to Program Expansion and Sustainability

Your support will also create a positive ripple effect, fostering economic opportunities and empowering future leaders.

Join us in making waves of positive change. We greatly appreciate your support!

Get inspired by the stories of our SeaSisters:

Learning to surf knows no boundaries. Here, Chamani (age 48) and Sithumi (age 13), a mother and daughter from a fishing village, are joyfully surfing together. Having many responsibilities, they enjoy escaping their daily duties and worries for a moment.

Kumuduni, 57 years old, joined our lessons along with her 13-year-old niece Namadi, to learn something she had never been able to do in her entire life. The message: You can do anything!

Our lessons are run by a dedicated all-female volunteer team. Here we’re practising pop-ups before heading to the ocean.

Before joining SeaSisters, most girls and women are afraid of the ocean. Walking hand in hand helps them overcome their fear and build strong connections with the volunteers. After one season, all participants say that they LOVE the ocean!

In the Southern province of Sri Lanka, not a single girls school has a dedicated swimming pool. Because of this a lot of girls are missing out on this important life skill; swimming.

We make sure to protect the ocean we love, by educating the women and girls about ocean pollution, and run frequent beach clean-ups. Udani, also acts as an ocean educator and takes the lead of these sessions.

Thamali lost a close friend due to drowning, and had stayed away from the ocean for more than a decade. SeaSisters helped her to reconnect with the ocean and heal from her trauma. Today she is part of the director’s team, supporting other local girls to learn swimming and surfing.

Behind SeaSisters
SeaSisters was founded in November 2018 by Amanda Prifti (US) and Martina Burtscher (Austria), two surfers with backgrounds in International Development. Transitioning to local leadership, today our Swim & Surf Program is run by our amazing local team, Kalpa Gandhari, Thamali Arachhi, Udani Meddawuma, and remotely, Mahishaa Balraj.

Our free swim and surf lessons are made possible by a dedicated volunteering team of international women swim and surf instructors. We're a registered non-profit organisation in Sri Lanka and Austria.

Join our movement of changemakers from all over the world, stepping up for gender equality and a more inclusive surf community!

Share this campaign with your friends, family, and social networks, and let's spread the word of compassion and support far and wide. Every act of kindness counts, and together, we can create a positive impact that resonates in the hearts of Sri Lankan women and girls and fuels their passion for surfing and swimming.


Follow our journey:



  • Anonymous
    • €50 
    • 16 d
  • Chiara Motta
    • €20 
    • 21 d
  • Anonymous
    • €10 
    • 22 d
  • Anonymous
    • €5 
    • 22 d
  • Miriam Schmitt
    • €10 
    • 1 mo

Fundraising team (2)

SeaSisters Sri Lanka
Raised €385 from 7 donations
Thamali Liyana Arachchi
Team member

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