Beyond the Surface is a registered California nonprofit corporation with a pending application for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity status with the Internal Revenue Service. The mission of Beyond the Surface is to eradicate youth homelessness in coastal communities worldwide and empower street children through the sport of surfing.
UNICEF estimates there are 100 million street children worldwide, many of who live in coastal communities. Homeless children are subject to abuse, neglect, exploitation, and even elimination by “cleanup squads” hired by local businesses or police. Beyond the Surface provides orphaned youths with a unique opportunity. Beyond the Surface collaborates with top companies in the surfing industry such as Billabong, Sun Diego, and Josh Hall Surfboards to produce products with unique Beyond the Surface designs. By purchasing these products, a consumer helps rescue a child from the streets and gives them a chance to escape from a lifetime of homelessness. Profits from these sales allow Beyond the Surface to place street children in three educational self-empowerment surfing programs: Kovalam Surf Club in India, Waves for Development in Peru, and Umthombo Surf Club in South Africa. Children placed in these programs learn to surf, attend school, and become part of a community.
A message from the owner, Emi Koch:
I grew up in southern California and wanted to be a professional surfer from an early age. I surfed competitively and earned sponsorship by a number of surf companies. However, in high school and through community service, I realized many people did not have the same opportunities I had enjoyed and I became socially conscious. Although I love surfing and its lifestyle, I want to work toward philanthropy and social activism. Volunteering at an orphanage in Nepal last summer and my Georgetown experience have made me more aware of national and international social issues and motivated me to combine my passion for social justice with my love for surfing. In September 2009, I founded my nonprofit corporation which seeks to eradicate youth homelessness in coastal areas around the world and empower street children through the sport of surfing.