The story of the SIMA Humanitarian Fund begins with the beat of a mosquito wing.
In 2002, Steve Barilotti penned an article for Surfer Magazine entitled “The Jungle is Looking Back,” wherein Dr. Dave Jenkins recounts his experience traveling to the Mentawai Islands, as many surfers do, and what he encountered when he went ashore, as many surfers don’t.
Moved by the story and the affliction of Malaria on the Mentawai villagers, Reef Sandals co-founder, Santiago Aguerre worked to establish a fundraiser for SurfAid, Jenkins’ nascent NGO. That initial fundraiser, through the hard work of Santiago’s brother Fernando as well as the SIMA member community and staff, has transformed into the SIMA Humanitarian Fund.
Officially established in 2006, the SIMA Humanitarian Fund, raises money to support surf or boardsport related social and humanitarian non-profit organizations whose efforts are focused on improving the quality of life, health, and/or welfare of people.
To date, the SIMA Humanitarian Fund has raised over $1.58 million for Humanitarian causes.
As a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit foundation, the SIMA Humanitarian Fund operates through a grant-making program. Tax-exempt humanitarian groups and organizations wishing to receive funding from the Humanitarian Fund must submit and have approved by the SIMA Humanitarian Fund Board of Directors a grant request form that details the group’s plans for the requested funds.