N: 38 ° 43 ’20 .109 “W: 9 ° 8 ‘21.612”
After we visited the Surfrider Foundation Europe headquarters last summer, we decided to visit the ‘chapter’ in Lisbon. Olmo with with António, manager of the Surfrider Foudation in Lisbon. Besides the fact that it was great to experience such an enthusiast like Antonio, we also discussed the possibilities for future collaboration between SurfaWhile and the Surfider Foundation Lisbon.
Meeting Surfrider Foundation Lisbon
António immediately hit the nail on the head. Prevention is better than cure, in other words: beach and forest clean-ups are really good, but it is equally more important to tackle the problem at a much earlier stage. ” 80% of all waste, including a lot or plastic, which ends up in the sea, comes from the city. In a city like Lisbon you can see that very clearly (also cited examples like Paris), where the river Tagus runs centrally through the city. A lot of rubbish that remains on the street was washed into the river (due to rain or wind). This river then takes it towards the sea.
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António works together with a number of volunteers who are all committed to making the Oceans cleaner. The connection to the sea and surfing is clear in everything they do; particularly at António’s office, where there are a lot of surfboards on the wall. The SRF provides information and organizes and facilitates clean-ups in, for example, the Monsanto Forest or the various beaches of Portugal. They do this for groups of schools or universities and more and more companies are registering to get information, after which the group naturally also rolls up its sleeves to help clean in a physical sense.
SurfaWhile & the Surfrider Foundation Lisbon
SurfaWhile also supports all the fantastic work they do, both in Lisbon and with all other chapters (‘departments’) of the SRF, in and outside Europe. In addition to maintaining good contacts with the head office in Biarritz and the chapter in the Netherlands, we also want to do our bit in Portugal. It happens several times a year that school groups work in or around Lisbon (Caparica is a very popular destination, with a very nice and suitable surf house).
What we are currently proposing to the schools (and this is being received with great enthusiasm) is that the SRF is a fundamental part of the program. Depending on the size of the group, they will receive information in 1 or 2 groups from António and his team in the Monsanto Forest (in Lisbon), after which different parts of this forest will be cleaned. In addition to the information, the kids (or others) really see how important this cleaning is.
António from the SRF Lisbon and Olmo from SurfaWhile
António also told me about his NGO Surf Social Wave, where he deals with people who are having trouble from the labour market (e.g. because of unemployment). He uses surfing as a means to inspire people to take a new path in life. Through António we came into contact with Mário, which yielded a great story about his expereinces with unemployment and how he used surfing to create a business for himself: Surf&Wine Tours .
Woud you like to go surfing in Portugal? The check out our page of surf camps in Portugal and contact us for any further help.