Countries like Mauritius that rely heavily on tourism have been majorly affected by recent events. Professional surfer Willow-River Tonkin has stepped up with a challenge to raise funds to help people during these times. Read on to learn more.

These days it is easy for all of us to feel a little overwhelmed by everything that is going on around us. People across the globe have been impacted in many ways, from social and economic uncertainty to environmental concerns as we have recently explored.

Island nations like Mauritius that are highly dependent on industries such as tourism have  certainly felt the impact of the crisis. However, locals are also conscious of the longer term impacts that extended lockdowns, closed borders, and the limited movement of people and goods will have on their communities.
Willow-River Tonkin Photo Copyright Thomas Burblies
Willow-River Tonkin by @thomasburblies

Unlikely circumstances call for unlikely heroes. Locals such as professional surfer Willow-River Tonkin have taken the situation in stride. Stepping out of his comfort zone to raise funds and support for those most affected by the crisis, on May 17th, he will be running a marathon around his residence. 

“That is 42.195 kilometres. 211 Laps around the building (1 lap =  200m),” he said. Despite his lack of experience as a runner, Willow has committed to “running, walking, crawling or rolling my way to the finish line.”

Willow aims to bring people together to support Hope House and the I61 Foundation, two organisations that he believes are making a positive impact in his community.

Willow-River Tonkin Charity Run
Willow-River Tonkin prepares for marathon this weekend

Hope House believes in empowering the youth by giving them the tools to overcome negativity and create brighter futures for themselves. Willow has worked with the local NGO for a number of years. They provide a workshop and training for entrepreneurial spirits to craft and market their creations. They host swimming, surfing and sport projects for youth, but also for struggling, working moms weekly.

Their vision is to help these women break fear, learn to surf and enjoy some well deserved time for themselves. They also support the creation of eco friendly housing for those in need and providing sustainable water sources from rain harvesting.

Throwback: Willow-River Tonkin and Hope House Mauritius
Willow has worked with the group, sharing this photo from about 6 years ago when Hope House first started out.
Many of the boys in the picture are still working with the team today.

Hope House has backed Willow’s initiative, saying it aligns closely to their belief that everyone has something to give that will make a difference.

The run will also support the I61 Foundation which helps to connect NGOs and their projects with donors that share passion and social responsibility goals.

Willow-River Tonkin by @josh_emanuel_ ⁣
Willow-River Tonkin by @josh_emanuel_
You can support Willow’s run before May 17th by donating or sharing with your mates!

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