Give and Surf directly serves a population of over five hundred Ngobe community members living in the communities of Bahia Roja, Bahia Honda, and Solarte. These impoverished, remote communities survive mainly off subsistence living without electricity, running water, clean drinking water, and bathroom facilities. The area is provided insufficient government education for grades 1st-6th and has a limited number of resources and opportunities for prosperity.
For these reasons Give & Surf aims to provide substantive, hands-on, real world assistance and programs to a hundred and thirty children ages three to sixteen. Give & Surf has constructed and developed two schools in Bahia Honda and Bahia Roja that provide the following: a daily preschool and kindergarten, summer school, surf outreach mentorship program, after school program, Adult and Elementary School english programs, music program, and community development initiatives. Give & Surf and its supporters also sponsor the continued education of thirty students through a sponsorship program that provides the necessary transportation and school supplies needs of students ages 13-18.
Preschool and Kindergarten
Summer vacation for students is during the months of December through the end of February. To supplement the public education, Give and Surf has summer school classes to provide engaging activities and new experiences to further develop our student’s understanding of the world. During this time we develop a schedule focused on different themes that combine the environment, experiential learning, and self-expression. The summer schedule combines multiple 2-5 week courses with one centralized theme. Summer Camp is provided to Bahia Roja and Bahia Honda. Volunteers develop lesson plans that are intended to be engaging and cultivate the students’ creativity. If you’re volunteering while summer school is in session, you can look forward to building lesson plans and curricula for the summer school courses.
Old Bank Summer Camp
English as a Second Language
We provide a number of Bocas communities the opportunity to learn English through an ESL curriculum. Learning English is tremendously important for the adults to progress and have employment opportunities. Because Bocas del Toro has a large influx of English-speaking tourists year-round, English is a language that is of great value for our students to learn. By providing them with working knowledge of English, their education will progress and employment opportunities broaden.
Classes are provided twice a week to the communities of Bahia Honda and Bahia Roja.
Additionally, through our partnership with Habla Ya Spanish Schools, we are able to provide a wide range of English courses to suit the needs of Isla Colon’s large population. Located at the Habla Ya facility, these ESL courses have reached adults, teens, and adolescents, focusing on teaching conversational and job specific English. A growing number of volunteer English teachers have stepped up big to make these ESL courses possible throughout the entire year! This initiative has gained a lot of popularity throughout Bocas and we are very excited about the continued support it has received from the local community!
New for 2017! TEFL Certification Course. We are now offering a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certification Course, which will certify people to teach English around the world! The course will also provide a steady flow of teachers for our Bocas ESL Program, as the course requires 20 hours of in class teaching experience! This means more FREE English classes for the people of Bocas! Visit our page: giveandsurf.org/teflcertification/ for more info!
Higher Education Scholarships
Only 18% of Ngobe children ages 15-19 are educated past a 6th grade level. In the communities of Bahia Roja and Bahia Honda, the primary reason for the high dropout rate is the lack of reliable, affordable transportation to the town of Old Bank where the colegio (grades 7-12) is located. Since 2014, Give & Surf has committed to making sure that every student has access to secondary education and provides transportation sponsorships for every student to ensure that they to and from school safely each day. Your donation of $40 per month sponsors a middle or high school student’s transportation costs, school supplies, and the opportunity to continue their studies. Special thanks to Junguen You and Wendy Hung for their continued support in sponsoring multiple students.
Surf Outreach Mentorship Program
SOMP is a new program whose mission is to empower the youth of Bahía Roja through increased understanding and appreciation of the ocean as well as focus on character development, academics, and ESL. The sport of surfing serves as the guiding tool unifying the group through activities, studies, and mentorship. It is our goal to provide the youth of Bahia Roja with enriching academic and social experiences and promote growth as responsible and character-rich individuals in a fun and inclusive way. These youth who attend colegio grades 7th-9th from 12-6 Monday through Friday attend SOMP three days a week in the morning from 9-11. Students are given the opportunity to learn surfing skills within the framework of educational and character support, growing their mental and human capacities as responsible members of society.
Give & Surf has a strong focus on enhancing and adding new infrastructure to the communities and have completed a number of community development projects since January of 2011.