WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT TO CONTINUE PROVIDING WAVES OF THERAPY, HOPE AND EMPOWERMENT FOR THE BRAVE GIRLS OF THE SAO TOMÉ ISLAND!
Surfers Proud of African Women (aka SOMA) is the 1st Surf Therapy Program in São Tomé and the African continent, and the 3º in the WORLD exclusively working with girls at risk of social exclusion. Our mission is to encourage, nurture and inspire African young girls through an evidence-based therapy method combining surfing skills with psychoeducation, and academic and empowerment curriculum so they can become independent, productive citizens, leaders in the community, and champions for change.
This year has been very challenging in so many ways and despite our hard work and efforts, we see our bills rising at a very fast rate not only because of the global social-economical crisis but as well because of unexpected costs and needs. Our costs were duplicated in the last year.
In October 2022, we launched the 3rd edition of the SOMA Surf Therapy Program engaging 30 new girls from 6 to 18 years old that are waiting for the opportunity to learn, evolve and surf with our specialised volunteers. Yet, without financial support, we see the project’s future compromised and the hope of these girls will once again be shattered, generating a negative impact on the development of their personalities.
WERE DO WE SICK YOUR SUPPORT:
- BUY A VAN TO ENSURE A SAFE TRANSPORTATION TO THE ‘’7 WAVES BEACH’’ - Unfortunately, our borrowed truck from the partnership with the Cantagalo District Cityhall in Sao Tome is broken and became unsafety for the girl's transportation. Today to ensure the ongoing surfing activities 7km away from the surf community, we are renting a van which has an additional monthly cost of 250Euros. It is not a sustainable solution and therefore we need to buy a SOMA Van that would guarantee the girl’s safe mobility.
- PAY THE RENTAL FEES of our headquarters at Santana.
- GUARANTEE INTIMATE CARE EDUCATION AND PRODUCTS - Accepting and valuing their bodies is one of SOMA goals for all women in Sao Tome who are often prevented from participating in activities since they don't have access to intimate pads for their menstrual cycle. This fundraising will also ensure that no girl is prevented from surfing or doing any other activity due to the lack of intimate products.
- SURF TOURNAMENTS AND GRADUATION CEREMONY
- CLASSROOM STATIONERY AND MAINTENANCE INCLUDING SCHOOL SUPPLIES
- SURF SNACKS
- GIRL'S BIRTHDAY CAKE AND CELEBRATION
OUR IMPACT SO FAR
It all started in October of 2020 when Francisca Sequeira, our founder, went door to door to seek parental permission before the big day when for the first time, local women and girls were challenged to surf. Those efforts saw 26 girls, aged between 6 and 18, turn up the page of São Tomé surf history.
Since that day, we successfully implemented 2 editions in São Tomé, graduated and empowered 60 girls, provided 384 hours of surf lessons, spent 144 hours spent on the SOMA classroom and much more is yet to come.
We aspire to build a society that engages and empowers women, listens to them, and helps them work their way out of injustice, eradicates poverty, creates jobs, empowers young women, advances education and health, and promotes social justice.
SAO TOMÉ'S REALITY
Sao Tome is the second smallest African country that can’t be seen on most world maps. It is a beautiful island full of natural wonders, beautiful beaches and lovely and welcoming people, alongside a challenging reality of extreme poverty that needs to be shown and changed.
The island children grow up in extreme poverty, violence, and lack of health care and education making their future even more challenging and hopeless. In the vast majority of cases, girls are found at a disadvantage given the extreme gender inequality, not only in the social and professional environment but also in the family structure. In Sao Tome, there is an enduring belief that the role of women is limited to the domestic sphere and they are expected to be a daughter, sisters, mothers and little more. They are the most vulnerable when it comes to physical and sexual abuse as well - which results in most cases of early pregnancy (around 21.9% - data UNICEF 2019), making them prefer to stay indoors and dedicate their life to their babies.
Our future indeed is a bold and certainly ambitious one. We seek people who share the same passion for change and drive for equality as us. People that understand that a surfboard could be the proverbial catalyst to righting the wrongs of the past, a wave the carrier of hope and prosperity. SOMA girls need the right people, people like you!
To learn more about our program, activities, reports and how to get involved, visit our WEBSITE and follow us on INSTAGRAM.