As a SUP Yoga instructor I thought I was ready for this... turns out I'm not! The longest distance I've ever covered on a SUP is 10km in good conditions, this trip is 731km in all kinds of conditions (including portaging a giant tandem board and heavy bags - most days on slippy rocks). My body hurts everywhere possible and it's getting colder everyday.
I've realized that this trip is gonna take a little bit longer than I thought. Besides having a proper adventure and gaining a great experience from this, I would love to give this journey a deeper meaning.
As a woman and as a surfer living in Sri Lanka for the past 5 years, I have decided to paddle to raise money towards a charitable organization named SeaSisters .
SeaSisters are showing new possibilities for local girls and women in Sri Lanka through the ocean, where women are hardly seen. We share the same beliefs that women deserve the same opportunities as men. We also believe that swimming and surfing can serve as powerful tools of social change.
SURF. INSPIRE. EMPOWER.
SeaSisters is a social enterprise on Sri Lanka's South coast, striving for a more inclusive and responsible surf community. By donating, we support them to run a Swim & Surf Program to empower more Sri Lankan girls and women through surfing.
Particularly in rural areas, women in Sri Lanka are often expected to be inside their homes, excluding them from participating in public life and recreational activities.
Through the Swim & Surf Program, SeaSisters create a safe space for them to enjoy the ocean and influence mindsets around gender norms. They also equip them with the skills needed to work within the surf tourism industry.
What I really love about this organization is that it's actually changing the mindset of Sri Lankan fathers! Because of this, more and more girls are joining the Swim & Surf Program every season!
Help us empower the Sri Lanka ladies out there by donating to this amazing organization! Together we can make a change <3
Ylva & Kev
Here are some impressions of the SeaSisters Swim & Surf program:
Nilanthi, 44, joined SeaSisters with her daughter, Sithumi, 13. Together, they are doing something completely new; breaking out of their daily routines and simply having fun, mother and daughter!
Imalki, 16, has grown up afraid of the ocean after hearing stories about the tsunami and people drowning. But when she gets on the surfboard, she feels “wow, I can do this”.
Chamani, 43, is an inspiration for many other women in her village. Here, she is in the ocean for the first time ever - overcoming her fear and feeling pure joy!
SeaSisters team member Sanu, 20, is training to become the first female surf instructor from the South coast. Her message: Girls can do anything!
THANK YOU for your support!