On Lizzie's initial visit to Morotai in early 2016, some of the first friends she was to make were with Aden and Choco. Like-minded locals and kindred spirits with a passion for surfing and social work, the three them plus some more locals who had got involved, constantly talked of creating surf clubs across the villages of Morotai where the youth are so keen on surfing and using these clubs as a platform for education, empowerment and conservation. They felt that bringing youth together in this manner would lead them to inspire one another, create a group identity and support network, and help them attain their goals, whatever they may be through an increase in self-expression and self-belief.
This year we began the formal process of establishing the Morotai Surfing Association, acting as an umbrella to the eighteen surf clubs we have been establishing. Led by Aden with a support team of eight, its principles are centred around youth empowerment, gender equity, conservation and sustainable, community-led tourism. Needless to say it proving a very popular association and has the full support of the Morotai government. Ayo MSA!