(New York Times) In 2009, Vanessa Rude and her husband, Rashed Alam, began offering surf lessons and English lessons to girls in Bangladesh through the Cox's Bazar Lifesaving and Surfing Club.
Despite pushback from some in the community, they've created an invaluable space for girls to learn both in and out of the water.
In a country where only 40 percent of girls pass secondary exams, and an estimated 4.9 million children ages 5-15 are engaged in child labor, the surfing club and school provides the girls with education and freedom to realize their potential. Later this month, the girls will compete in a tournament run by the Bangladesh Surfing Federation, which features a large cash prize. At last year's competition, two of the girls Ruge and Alam teach placed.
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