We are excited to welcome Bonne Gea, Indonesian pro surfer, to the SurfAid family as our newest SurfAid Ambassador! Sponsored by Billabong Asia, Bonne is 5-time Indonesian Women’s Surfing Champion, and 2-time Asian Surfing Champion.
We recently caught up with Bonne, who was born next to the world-class right point break in Lagundri on the island of Nias. She fell in love with surfing when she was young, but she reveals:
“It was hard to follow my passion of surfing when I was a little girl because adults said that girls should not surf. They said I should be at home and they worried about my skin going black.”
Despite cultural norms and expectations in her village, Bonne’s strong, independent spirit led her to follow her passion, and ultimately grow up to become Indonesia’s first female surfing champion.
Bonne visited SurfAid’s programme in Nias in 2015 along with Dave Rastovich and Courtney Conlogue. Having grown up on this island, Bonne saw a positive change towards a better life for the local people. When we asked Bonne what excited her about SurfAid’s work, this is what she shared:
“SurfAid aims to help improve people’s lives in Nias by sharing knowledge and educating them in health, nutrition, sanitation and more. And because of SurfAid’s approach, the local people are learning and making a positive change that will last many generations”.
Photo credit: Alder
Since Bonne visited the SurfAid programme in June 2015, we’ve continued to see lasting results. For instance, the number of ‘independent’ community health posts has tripled from 4 to 12.
What’s more, SurfAid continues to see a drastic decline in mortality rates. Maternal death rates have dropped from 8 per year to zero for the second year in a row, and the mortality rate for children under 5 has all but disappeared with only 1 death reported last year. That is down from 22 per year at the start of the programme.
With the help of SurfAid supporters, mums and babies are growing healthier and stronger. With good health comes improved wellbeing and self-reliance – SurfAid’s core objective.
SurfAid is honoured to build capacity in the women of Nias to follow in the footsteps of Bonne; not only to overcome their circumstances, but also to realise their highest potential.
Thank you, Bonne, for your support of SurfAid, and for being an inspiration to women in Indonesia and around the world.