Jamaican youths come of age in an impoverished country, facing numerous challenges. The most evident is poverty, but even more damaging to the lives of the young is the negative cycle of low education levels, unemployment, lack of social mobility, and inequality.
With this in mind, the ReSurf Project in Jamaica will put a special emphasis on inserting the youth into the job market by connecting them with employment opportunities at the many tourist resorts. Not everyone can be a surf legend, so ReSurf will provide occupational opportunities for our participants, by giving them skills in surf repair, surf instruction, photography, and graphic design.
Our goal is to engage Jamaican teens in ReSurf Club activities so that they are less likely to fall prey to some of the most pervasive problems of at-risk youths, such as low self-esteem, personal disrespect, gang activity, crime, violence, hopelessness, and frustration.
The inspiration for this ReSurf project was a local surf legend, Billy Wilmot, aka Billy Mystic or Uncle Bill. Credited as the father of a surf culture in Jamaica, Billy has strived to improve the lives of the young and connect them through surfing.
“Jamaica is not the first place that springs to mind when one hears the word surfing, but surfing has given a small group of Jamaican children the opportunity to change their lives for the better. The Jamnesia Surf Club is the center of the surf universe for these kids, and we try to do all we can so that surfing provides more than just another recreational activity. Instead, we can provide career opportunities through training and certification in various surf related fields. We are elated that the ReSurf project is partnering with us to realize these efforts as we work for the uplifment of Jamaica’s youth.” – BILLY WILMOT, JSA PRESIDENT
The program is projected to launch in March 2016.