Our Impact

More than a sport.

Surfing does not only make us happy - it can also increase self-confidence, improve mental health, foster a deeper relationship with nature and connect communities from different backgrounds and cultures.

The positive effects of surfing are scientifically proven - have a look at the research at the International Surf Therapy Organization (ISTO).

And check out how surfing has impacted the lives of our SeaSisters!

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30+

LOCAL PARTICIPANTS

Discovering a great demand for our SeaSisters Swim & Surf Program, from

2018-2019, we quickly doubled from

14 to 30 participants, plus a wait list!

8-52

AGE OF PARTICIPANTS

We encourage all ages to join in our lessons, particularly moms with their daughters as there is no age limit on having fun in the ocean!

40+

VOLUNTEERS

Joining us as swim & surf instructors or as part of our local office team, we've worked with amazing women from around the world! See opportunities here.

Our Areas of Change

Women's

Empowerment

Improve confidence, develop collective power, and open economic opportunities for women in Sri Lanka’s surf tourism sector.

Ocean

Safety

Increase swimming and surfing skills, teach safety, and restore the ocean as a safe and enjoyable space following the 2004 tsunami.

Environmental Awareness

Reconnect local communities to the ocean, spread awareness of environmental challenges, and foster more sustainable practices.

Our Stories

"I want to tell every Sri Lankan woman that it's okay to go outside and have fun!" (Chamani)

Chamani has joined SeaSisters together with her daughter Sithumi. In the beginning, she was very shy and hesistant - but slowly, she made her first steps into the water. Today, Chamani loves surfing and inspires other Sri Lankan women to go outside and enjoy the ocean. 

Watch her inspirational story, filmed by Ollie Walker for Bloomberg Media.

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"At SeaSisters, I was able to learn something I had never thought I could do in my life! There, I find happiness, laughter, simplicity, team spirit and so much more. I love it so much!

 

Everytime I go there, I feel more free. It is something I think and feel over again and again. It is a wonderful experience." (Sriyani)

"When I'm in the water, I can hear my own voice." (Sanu)

Growing up in a small fishing village, there are many expectations for Sri Lankan girls: be kind, look nice, study, care for your family, stay mostly at home. But when Sanu is in the water, she forgets everything around her. It's just her and the waves. She feels free. 

Before joining SeaSisters, Sanu worked in a surf camp as a kitchen assistant. Today, she trains to become the first female surf instructor from the South coast.

Watch the teaser of the coming documentary about Sanu's story.

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"SeaSisters taught me how much I missed the ocean - even though I lived near the sea." (Kalpa)

Despite growing up in the beach town Unawatuna, Kalpa has never seen the ocean as a place for her. Joining SeaSisters, this has changed! Today, she loves swimming and surfing - and on the weekends, she goes on long beach walks together with her mother Sriyani, collecting shells and enjoying the sea breeze.

She says that SeaSisters always remembers her that there are no gender based barriers in the water - and that girls can do everything!

"SeaSisters is such a valuable programme. We were able to make lots of friends. We learned how to face problems. Learned about life safety. And how to swim and surf well. All the teachers are superb! SeaSisters gives us a different type of feelings! We love it." (Nilanthi and Sithumi) 

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"I'm so happy that my daughters know how to swim." (Chandima)

Sri Lanka has one of the highest drowning rates in the world. Every day, three people die because of drowning! Despite growing up on an island, most people have never learnt how to swim. In rural areas, swimming is usually not taught at schools, and there is a lack of access to public swimming pools and swim instructors. 

Growing up in Midigama, with the ocean just around the corner, Chandima is thankful that her daughters Binuti and Namadi now have the chance to learn how to swim at a young age. She thinks that all children should have this opportunity! We couldn't agree more. 

Help us to increase our impact!

Donate here.

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© 2020 SeaSisters Sri Lanka