How It Began

How It Began: Surf Educators International Africa

Cara Hammerton is the driver behind the surf education movement in Africa and will front the Surf Educators Africa organisation. She is a 21-year-old from Mosman on Sydney's north shore.

Pursuing her passion of human rights, Cara became involved with the Human Rights Advocacy Centre in Accra, Ghana. Through HRAC, she volunteered to travel to Ghana for three months, attempting to combat prominent local issues including abortion and prostitution. She is now back in Australia, spreading awareness about the drowning issue in West Africa and raising funds to set up an education system based in Ghana.

"It's definitely overwhelming," Cara says of the whole experience. "University is not really an option now. But I know I can't progress with this unless I'm over there (in Ghana) myself. It's a pretty big decision but it's one I'm very willing to make."

Cara has teamed up with Surf Educators International (SEI), headed by former Australian Ironman champion Craig Riddington. They are appealing to members of the Australian public and business community for funds for their upcoming project in the Republic of Ghana.

"Craig saw my idea for Ghana as being a realisation of his dream of globalising surf and swim education to those who need it most," Cara says. "He has all of the expertise to actually make it happen."

Cara's father, Paul Hammerton, is resigned to seeing his daughter only sporadically ahead of her touted move to Ghana in April. He has seen all three of his kids travel overseas in 2011 for almost the entire year. Despite this, Paul is extremely positive about the movement.

"I think it's a great initiative," Paul says. "Cara is a great example of Generation Y. The younger generation these days take care of others. The prior generation gave very little to charity and were perhaps more selfish."

"Cara and the people of her generation have a plan to help and I think they will make it happen."