After months of planning and organizing with our sponsors and collaborators, the social project “Sun Tribe” by KiteSirens has started.
On August 11th, Carolina Dickenson and Andrea Rabasa arrived from Tarifa to Delta del Ebro, an incredible natural park in Tarragona, Spain, which is very well known by the kitesurfing community.
On August 12th, we held a meeting at the Trabucador beach in the kitesurfing area frequented by the school Deltakitesup, which is the local kitesurfing school that is collaborating with us in the project. We sat together with the girls, their families and the social workers.
During the meeting we met the girls and their families for the first time, briefing them on the mission of Sun Tribe, and the schedule that will be followed over the next couple weeks. It was very exciting to see, for the first time, how the project was becoming a reality.
We have seven young girls between the ages of 14 to 17. They come from three different towns close to Delta del Ebro: Deltebre, Sant Carles de la Rápita and Vinarós.
How were the girls selected?
Sun Tribe offers kitesurfing camps to young girls who are at risk of social exclusion. But…what does risk of social exclusion mean? According to the European Comission, a person is at risk of social exclusion when he or she has a low economic income, when one of the members of his/her family has been unemployed for a long term and when the family cannot cover living expenses, such as paying the rent, unexpected expenses or does not have the means to enjoy one week of holidays away from their home.
In order to select the girls at Delta del Ebro we worked with the city councils from towns such as Deltebre and Sant Carles de la Rapita, and with social workers from these areas. The selected girls come from different organizations such as Caritas, which offer programs including the promotion of social inclusion to families and teenagers.
We are kitesurfing instructors and social coaches
Carolina Dickenson and I have a background in psychology. Carolina studied a Degree in Psychology and I studied a Degree in Psychology of Education and in Primary Education. We are also IKO (International Kitesurfing Organization) kitesurfing instructors. This gives us the formation to become successful Sun Tribe coaches. We are not just teaching kitesurfing. We use kitesurfing as a tool to give the girls an opportunity to strengthen their self-esteem and confidence, to be in direct contact with a healthy and active beach lifestyle and to enjoy life while taking care of their bodies and their environment. As a means of offering a robust and nurturing experience to the girls, we cooperate with the social workers and with programs already in place. Sun Tribe integrates into these programs, offering the girls an opportunity to learn new social skills through kitesurfing- a sport which requires patience, commitment and the ability to overcome challenges.
What have we done so far?
On August 13th, we started the first kitesurfing lesson with the girls. Every day, Carolina and I teach two groups of two to three young women. Classes run for a period of two hours per group. During the first week, we spent time getting to know each other, as well as learning the safety procedures of kitesurfing; how to fly a trainer kite, the skills to prepare and pack the kitesurfing gear and also to start exploring flying an inflatable kite (the ones we use to kitesurf in the water).
The conditions to learn this sport at El Trabucador, Delta del Ebro, are very convenient.There is an extensive and shallow sea area where you can walk with the water below your knees for more than 30 meters. The water is flat and the winds are thermal, light winds. As instructors, it has been very interesting to learn how to teach with light wind, as we are used to stronger conditions like in Barbados or Tarifa, Spain.
This is what they want
The first day the girls reflected about why they wanted to be part of Sun Tribe…
“I want to feel the feeling”, “I always wanted to learn kitesurf”, “I want to fly”, “I want to kitesurf all together”…
So… let’s start!
If you want to know more about how the girls are progressing, stay tuned. There is another blog coming soon!