Tragedy Transformed | One Man’s Loss Saves Many More

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Photo by Chandra

Bapak Jola remembers the birth of his daughters, and he remembers their death too. At just one and three years old, Bapak Jola lost his girls to one of Sumba’s biggest killers: malaria.

As Village Head of Ngora Mojora, in Harona Kala village, Bapak Jola’s loss motivated him to use his influence to advocate for better health outcomes. Bapak’s village has partnered with SurfAid to prevent other fathers from losing their daughters.

Malaria is a mosquito borne infectious disease common in tropical climates, like the remote island communities where SurfAid works. A lack of education and stagnant water (breeding grounds for mosquitoes), coupled with compromised immune systems from unclean drinking water, poor sanitation practices, and malnutrition leave people poorly equipped to fight the disease.

SurfAid’s Mother & Child Health (MCH) programme strengthens communities through a lasting partnership that improves access to clean water & sanitation, basic health care, and better nutrition outcomes. Together, these pillars of SurfAid’s MCH programme, make villages resilient to malaria.

For Bapak Jola and his village - there was no deliberation as to whether or not to volunteer their time to construct water facilities. There was no question in Bapak’s mind when he learned the value of using a latrine. And when he discovered the role nutrition plays in a healthy immune system, he sowed his garden.

Integral to the success of SurfAid’s MCH programme is education. Practical support complemented with knowledge, empower people like Bapak Jola to raise a healthy family, and lead a healthy village.

This September, embrace SurfAid’s vision for healthy and resilient communities in remote areas. Support SurfAid’s mission to improve the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing. Join SurfAid in preventing malaria.

Empower communities to empower themselves.

Photo by Chandra