Welcome to Bangladesh. It is one of the poorest, overpopulated and inefficiently-governed nations in Asia. Many of the direct victims of the social inequality that pervades in the country are street children. But, although the future seems rather grim for these kids, there are people that continue fighting to change things and to bring a spark of joy to their lifes.
Cox Bazar, a fishing town in southern Bangladesh, was chosen back in 2001 by the NGO SSurf the Nations to receive a full aid program that included not only social and medical assistance but also the founding of a local surf club. As the Bangladesh Surf Club started its activity ( with over 35 surfboards and bodyboards donated) it became an instant success. Presently there are over 70 members, boys and girls that share their love for the sport.b And, how the members of Surfing the Nations like to stress after eight years of working for the community "the members of the surf club, are no longer categorized as ´the street kids` or ´the uneducated`, they are now recognized as surfers. With this new founded identity, a community of young men and woman are working together to serve their city. Participating in large beach cleanups, teaching ocean safety, swimming lessons and of course surfing; they have enthusiastically embraced the motto of Surfing The Nations - surfers giving back".
What you get in Gum for my Boat, is a rigorous account of the events that changed the poor community. The documentary results in a well-filmed movie, greatly edited and filled with equal moments of sadness and hapiness at the same time. The redemptive power of surfing in a depressed community makes it a movie hard to forget for a long time. I think I have something in my eye now...
Website of the movie: http://www.gumformyboat.com/