Monday 19th April 2021
Byron Bay based tourism operator, Mojosurf, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to support Indonesians in crisis, after the collapse of the tourism industry in 2020.
Mojosurf has been operating surf adventures across Australia, Indonesia, and Portugal for the past 20 years and continues to run community and environmental development programs in these locations. These surf camps came to a grinding halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which greatly impacted the many locals who rely on tourism to survive. Mojosurf is dedicated to continuing its support of these communities, despite facing its own challenges from the impact of the Coronavirus.
With more than 13.5 million Indonesians losing their jobs due to COVID-19 and no governmental safety nets, such as we are privileged to have here in Australia, Mojo has kept Indonesian teams engaged and working on these important community projects, even through the height of the pandemic.
Nathan Folkes, Mojosurf’s owner and founder, is passionate about playing his part in the communities where the Mojo camps are based. “We truly care about the wellbeing of locals and their families. Over the past six years we have funded a wide range of community development and environmental programs, including repairing a local orphanage, ongoing funding for children’s education, cleaning up beaches, and helping to establish sustainable businesses and housing for locals.”
With Coronavirus devastating tourism operations globally, Mojosurf has remained steadfast to these commitments and has worked to keep the majority of their staff employed, despite a 95 percent reduction in revenue. “With no international customers to take surfing or stay at our hotels, we have engaged our staff in cleaning beaches, caring for their communities, and helping out at the local orphanage. We are also providing 96 families with emergency food packs every week to ensure they have enough food to eat and can make it through the pandemic,” Folkes says.
Federal Richmond MP Justine Elliot says she supports the initiative and commends Mojosurf. “It’s great to see a local tourism business still working on international community development programs despite their own domestic economic challenges due to the COVID pandemic. Our local economy has been devastated, and the cutting of JobKeeper only makes this situation worse.” Elliot says.
Local father of three and long-term Mojo Canguu staff member, I Wyan Kariada, is grateful for the life-saving assistance Mojo has provided. “During the pandemic situation Mojo has been a great help to us. There have been no tourists to come and visit our beautiful Island and Mojo supports us with food packs. These are so important to us, I can supply food to my family. Without these food packs I would feel hopeless,” Wyan says.
With international travel not expected to resume until at least 2022, Mojosurf is striving to find ways to keep families fed, children educated, and beaches clean. “Our business has been annihilated by the COVID pandemic and we can no longer rely on our surf camps to fund this important work. That’s why we have put this campaign together. These communities rely on Mojo and we will not turn our backs on them and their families. We have made it this far but with the end of JobKeeper and ongoing travel restrictions, we now have to ask for help. We hope that everyday Australians who love Bali and beyond will step up and show them why Australians are renowned for lending a helping hand in times of crisis,” Folkes says.
The GoFundMe campaign launches on the 19th of April and aims to raise $134,000 to cover the costs of these vital programs in Indonesia for the next 12 months. With the end of JobKeeper and government support in Australia, this task is proving more challenging than ever before. “We know that when international travel returns, we can go back to funding these life-changing programs ourselves, but until that time comes, we need your help! So, please make a donation or come on a surf adventure with us in Byron Bay. Even a small contribution can go a long way to supporting our work in Indonesia” says Folkes.
Alternatively, you can the campaign’s fundraising coordinator, Chris Braat on 0424 187 051 OR [email protected]