Living in our modern, technologically-driven world it's easy to forget that there are still many places on the planet with little to no access to clean drinking water. The statistics are staggering: one in six people still do not have access to clean water. This is where Waves For Water comes in. Founded in 2009 by Jon Rose, a former WSL QS surfer from Laguna Beach, CA, after witnessing the devastation and destruction in Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia following a 7.6 earthquake (and subsequent massive tsunami).
Returning home, he realized that he had to do more. With a vision and a mantra - "Do what you love and help along the way" -- Rose, along with portable water filters and rain water storage systems design by his father, went to Haiti after the first of its crippling earthquakes in 2010 with a simple mission: get clean water to every person who needs it. That first trip to Haiti has lead to clean water access to 3 million Haitian people over the course of five years.
Since then, Waves For Water has partnered with Hurley and the foundation's relief efforts have touched over 7 million people in over 27 countries, including Fiji, Indonesia, Haiti, Brazil, India, Nepal, Mexico, Sierra Leone and many others (even the U.S. following Superstorm Sandy).
During the OK Fiji Women's Pro, Waves For Water Executive Director Christian Troy and Championship Tour surfers Carissa Moore and Tatiana Weston-Webb visited Fijian villages still recovering from the effects a Cyclone Winston, a category five storm which struck in February 2016.
"We showed up unannounced and it was great to see they're still using the systems," Troy said. The smiles and stories of gratitude from the local villagers and their tribal elders are truly compelling. The filter systems change lives. "It actually makes me proud of humanity," said Weston-Webb, "there are humans in this world who really want to make a difference."
If you're interested in helping out, Waves 4 Water has launched a new awareness campaign titled Artists For Water. Built around a handful of talented artists from within our surfing community, the program features original art from Shaun Stussy, Thomas Campbell, Andy Davis, Natas Kaupas and Kassia Meador.
"For me, it's all about leaving the world better than when you found it," said Artist For Water designer, Kassia. "Water has been the biggest part of my life and it's really important to help bring that to people. [Waves For Water] is giving people an opportunity to take their lives back, to take their health back and offers an opportunity for their families to grow up in a better world."
Please visit wavesforwater.org to find out more about how you can help the cause.