During the 2012 NAFSA Conference and Expo, the GoAbroad Team was pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Innovation Awards. As part of a continued effort to recognize the hard work and dedication this year’s nominees, GoAbroad will be sharing individual features of the 2012 GoAbroad Innovation Awards finalists over the coming weeks. This week, we are thrilled to bring you the Innovative New Program, Volunteer Abroad Award finalists!
Please join us in congratulating the following Finalist of the Innovative New Program, Volunteer Abroad Award:
Give and Surf
“Give and Surf Non-Profit”
As the founder of Give & Surf, Neil Christiansen’s story started almost two years ago when he decided to quit his all too predictable and comfortable life in America and move to Bocas del Toro, Panama to start a 501(c)(3) non-profit built on his passions of volunteering and surfing. He set out on this adventure without much of a plan other than to make a significant impact on a deserving community, where he could surf in his free time. Give & Surf is a homegrown, small non-profit that is dedicated to the indigenous community of Ngobe Indians in Bahia Honda. The organization aims to empower this community through educational and community development.
Volunteers who come and experience the volunteer programs are welcome to come for any length of time. Volunteers are offered the opportunity to surf as it was surfing that first opened Neil’s eyes to the needs of impoverished third world communities. Through efforts of the Give and Surf organization, Neil hopes to bring conscious individuals to Panama with the desire to give back in to a deserving community in a profound way, and enjoy the islands on the side.