The 24/7 US action sports network, FUEL has adopted a small village in the Mentawai Islands, 100 miles off western Sumatra in Indonesia.
International humanitarian organization, Surf Aid International (SAI) is behind the adopt-a-village initiative.
FUEL’s sponsorship will go towards helping to improve the health of those living in the surf-rich but otherwise impoverished community of Mapadigat.
Mapadigat looks out on to one of the world’s most photogenic waves, Telescopes. However the idyllic setting belies a sinister reality.
The Mentawai islands are a hyper-endemic malaria area with up to 50% of people carrying the parasites.
Malaria is responsible for many deaths and extensive suffering. It keeps communities in the poverty trap and severely reduces a child’s capacity to be educated.
Malaria also weakens the immune system turning other common diseases such as diarrhea and chest infections into killers. People living in Mapadigat are affected by all of these.
FUEL has first-hand knowledge of the site as it has been the setting for some of their surfing film shoots.
“The Mentawai’s are an important part of surf culture, providing surfers around the world incredible waves and the hospitality of their villages, says CJ Olivares, SVP and Assistant General Manager, FUEL. “All of us should be supporting SurfAid and its work in the Mentawai’s. It’s the right thing to do.
SAI CEO, Andrew Griffiths emphasizes how much he has enjoyed working with the team at FUEL. “Since their introduction to Surf Aid they have offered all manner of support, he says. “FUEL has aired SAI public service announcements on the channel and the wider Fox network, covered our events and now adopted a village. This is another huge step in action sports taking the fight to malaria.
Surf Aid International (SAI) is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of indigenous people living near to surfing locations in the Mentawai Islands.
Mapadigat is just one of 17 villages in the Mentawai Archipelago where SAI is running health programs with a primary emphasis on malaria control.
FUEL is the first 24-hour US cable and satellite network dedicated to the world of action sports. As a driving force in youth culture, action sports have captured the imagination, energy and excitement of a generation. FUEL covers both competitive and free-riding action in the arenas of skateboarding, surfing, BMX, freestyle motocross, snowboarding and wakeboarding. Programming includes top-level international sports events and competitions, featuring elite extreme sports athletes. Original and co-produced series are complemented by unique and compelling interstitials, featuring the best slams, the top tricks, and the voices of the action sports industry.