On the 9th May 2015 a group of 89 children supported St Vincent de Paul North Coast Settlement Services in New South Wales took to the ocean at Woolgoolga for a specially organised VEGEMITE SurfGroms program under the Surf for Life Project.
St Vincent de Paul North Coast Settlement Services assists newly arrived migrants and humanitarian communities to become self-reliant, to settle in to their new life, and develop a sense of identity and belonging. It provides a number of support services to migrants including health, housing, financial, and social.
The Surf for Life program run by Solitary Islands Surf School and supported by St Vincent de Paul saw 6 small groups of 15 migrant children participate in a full day of beach games, making friends, and surfing.
Marzio Hussain, age 12, a participant on the day loved the experience:
“Awesome fun surfing, it was my first time and definitely won’t be my last! I love it!”
Parent, Aklilu Gebrezgabheir stated:
“This was such a great thing for my child. The smile on his face and the ocean knowledge he learned today was priceless”
Yousef Saeed, parent of 4 of the children stated:
“It was a great day, the skills and information given by the instructors about the ocean was so good for my kids. Especially since we live by the sea. Thanks to everyone involved for making this program happen.”
Cheryl Nolan Manager North Coast Settlement Services St Vincent De Paul was very appreciative:
“It was an absolute pleasure to be involved with The Surf For Life Project and see all these kids experience surfing. This is now their backyard and the ocean and our beautiful beaches are apart of their lives.”
The Surf For Life Project continues to seek additional donations and funding in order to continue to offer similar programs and experiences to underprivileged Australian children from all around the country.