Surfers helping to provide communities around the world with their most fundamental need – Water.
Waves For Water is now a registered Australian charity that works on the front line to provide clean water to communities in need around the world. It is a humanitarian aid organization that provides access to clean water for communities that have chronic clean water issues or in communities devastated by disaster. The non-for-profit was founded by former Laguna pro surfer and Hurley brand ambassador, Jon Rose in 2009 as a way for travellers in pursuit of the perfect waves to also help those in need along the way.
Jon describes his work as “Guerrilla Humanitarianism”, which refers to taking a no-nonsense, stripped down, yet strategical and tactical approach towards problem solving.
“One in nine people still do not have access to clean water and that is ridiculous. We strongly believe that as a group, as a movement, we can change the statistics and solve this problem, in our lifetime.” Says Jon Rose, founder of Waves For Water.
Waves For Water developed a DIY volunteer program called Clean Water Couriers. The idea was that surfers searching for the perfect wave could carry filters in their luggage and then personally travel to villages in third world countries and set them up. With these filters, dirty water becomes instantly clean and drinkable, and ultimately saves lives. In 2014, Hurley and Waves For Water coordinated one of the largest single day water relief efforts for World Water Day where they sent five groups of Clean Water Couriers made up of Hurley surfers and ambassadors to missions in Brazil, Haiti, Indonesia, Liberia and Nicaragua with the aim to distribute 1,000 water filtration units.
Hurley has been an ongoing partner and supporter since very early on. They have focused on engaging the masses, making them aware of the global water crisis and also what can be done about it, via Waves For Water. The partnership has given Waves For Water a platform to get the message out in a way that is unique to most other non-profits.
Australians have already embraced the work of Waves For Water, travelling to and delivering life- saving water filters to communities in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Africa, South America, Central America, Fiji, Haiti, Pakistan and Central Australia. They responded early to the recent needs of Lombok and Sulawesi and continue to support the efforts of local leaders in their recovery process, and will be well positioned to take care of their Asian and pacific neighbours in the years to come.
To celebrate the launch of Waves For Water Australia there is a launch party and fundraising event on November 10th in Wollongong with Jon Rose, Waves For Water Founder.
Saturday 10th November 6pm – late The Brewhouse 4/83-86 Montague Street, Wollongong
About Jon Rose:
As a professional surfer, Jon Rose traveled the world in pursuit of perfect waves. His adventures led him to some of the most breathtaking and remote locations in the world. After a 13 year career, looking for his next move, Jon was inspired by his father Jack, who had recently set a up a non-profit in Africa, aimed to help people catch and filter rainwater. Some of the best waves Jon had found throughout his surfing career were in developing countries with no access to clean water. He wondered why great solutions that already existed, such as portable water filters, bore-hole wells, and rainwater harvesting systems, weren’t being more commonly implemented in the regions he and his friends had traveled through. Why couldn't surfers and travelers continue doing the things they love, but also help along the way? It turns out they could. After extensive research, Jon discovered that the technology to create potable water, through already well-established technologies, not only existed, but also was cost-effective and readily available.
In 2009, Jon left for Bali on what was to be his first Wave For Water journey, armed with ten new filters he bought with his own money. During a layover in Padang (Sumatra), on the way, a 7.6 earthquake hit, completely devastating the area. Surviving the earthquake without a scratch, Jon worked tirelessly to distribute the filters where they were most needed. He did not know it yet, but this would be the true birth of Waves For Water.
Jon's objective is to identify problems associated with clean water in a community, then quickly connect an appropriate solution—such as portable water filters, rainwater harvesting systems, and/or bore-hole wells—in a sustainable way. He works closely with leaders, organizations and grassroots communities to find viable solutions to problems that have life-changing effects.