Time Well Spent
Who am I? What is my worth? What is my place? Kross, Declan, Henry and Yeferson are four boys who have searched for answers whilst living through homelessness, poverty, abuse and death. We took them on the surf trip of a lifetime to learn their worth, and that your past does not define your future.
About The Project
Who am I? What is my worth? What is my place?
Have you ever faced these questions and not known how to answer?
My name is James Fazio and when I was just 13 years old I survived a rare life-threatening illness, one that I probably should have died from. The experience changed the course of my life, how could it not? I knew I had been given a second chance and I wanted nothing more than to live a full life and to help people around me.
Ever since I can remember I had dreamed of becoming a professional surfer, growing up in California and Hawaii I had spent my life around the ocean. So after my illness, I just chased my dream and threw myself into surfing. I was travelling the world meeting people and experiencing different cultures, and it opened my eyes. I was competing in contests and doing really well, but those questions, Who am I? What is my worth? They stayed with me and one day I woke up and knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life helping others.
So I moved to Chile to find ways of giving back and it was through this journey that I met Yeferson, an orphan from Peru, and ‘Time Well Spent’ was born. Yeferson has an incredible story. When he was just 10 years old he left his abusive father and the Mountains of Peru where he lived, in search of his mother. He lived on the streets of Lima, until an amazing woman took him off the streets into a children’s home and gave him a chance at an education and a life. Yeferson himself learned to overcome his adversity through the healing of the ocean and his love for surfing, a connection that we shared.
At what point in their lives does someone realize the worth they have? What does it take for people to be able to give back? Why is it those who experience so much pain, are so able to give back to others? I want to empower others to answer these questions. I want to show others that your past doesn’t define your future and that you are worth something. That overcoming pain or adversity makes you who you are and you have the value of giving back – to see people have hope again, for themselves and for their futures.
Because Yeferson shared my love of surfing I knew I had to take him on a trip where he could experience a life outside of his own and in hope, have a life changing experience. As I travelled further and listened to new stories I realized there were so many kids like Yeferson that had faced incredible adversity and found some solace or healing in the ocean also. I met Declan, Kross and Henry, all with their own story of personal hardship, but with a bond of surfing.
These boys have all had to deal with so much, they traverse social issues like homelessness, poverty, abuse and dealing with family suicide. For them to discover their worth, I set out to take them on the trip of a lifetime to Panama to surf, share their stories, and to give back to the communities they visited along the way.
As a filmmaker, I also wanted to make a documentary to share this message and to inspire many other kids facing similar situations, questioning their being, their worth and their place. Had I known then what I do now maybe I wouldn’t have been so ready to make this documentary/dream happen, haha. We have certainly been tested in our journey to take these kids on their trips. We worked really hard to secure the travel documents and to raise some funds to help get these kids overseas, and to partner with some local causes to give back. The local communities of the boys were so supportive and critical to our success, and we had great help from our partner More Than Sport. But also, inevitably, we have put in so much of our own time, effort and money.
That is what makes the success of these trips sweeter. We filmed some amazing stories and some amazing surfing. I was so proud of the boys embracing our purpose and showing great courage in their honesty and vulnerability. It is their untold stories that we hope will speak to the many others we’re hoping to inspire.
It’s been an incredible ride so far, but now we need to regroup and enter post-production for this documentary.
Sometimes we make life so complex. With Time Well Spent we have the simple mission of getting it into the hands of those who need to hold on to hope and be inspired to not give up.
That, we hope, is where you can help. Give what you can, share to those you care about it or if nothing else, hold our message in your heart for a time you face your own adversity.
Director of Photography
About This Team
James is a filmmaker and surfer, and director of this project, who currently lives in Hawaii with his wife Katherine and young son Killian. James’ passion for helping others comes from his own personal journey and brush with death, and a career in surfing that took him to all parts of the world. He strives to tell the stories of those whose voices need to be heard and wants to help others faced with adversity to find value in giving back to the world.
Elliot is a professional travel photographer and sponsored surfer from Ocean Grove, Australia. He is the director of photography for Time Well Spent and the underwater cinematographer. As Elliot traveled the world surfing and taking photos, he too realized that he wanted to give back to the communities he visited. Using photography as a way to tell peoples stories and evoke emotion through is work. Elliot and James met in Indonesia four years ago and soon found they had kindered spirits to use filmmaking as a tool to give a voice to the silent.
Katherine is a surfer and a mother, and producer of this documentary, who currently lives in Hawaii with James and their son Kilian. Katherine has a bachelor’s degree in Media Economics, Event Management and Media Administration. She worked for years as a business woman and a sales coach for a firm in Germany, but like the others in our project, couldn’t be satisfied with living just to make more money. After completing her schooling she dropped her job and left Germany to serve others and help those who suffer from injustice and social issues. After meeting James, they started their production company that focuses on giving a voice to those who have been silenced.
Will is an avid surfer and marketing expert living in Melbourne, Australia. He is also helping to Co-Produce this documentary. He is currently working in Government Affairs at a healthcare company, but as well as the rest, loved the idea of a documentary about surfing, telling untold stories and helping others around the world.Will got extremely involved in the later stages of Time Well Spent when he heard what we had set out to do. He really has a heart for this project and truly believes in it’s content and the stories of the boys. He is now determined to help get this documentary made the best it can be, and placed in the hands of as many people as possible.
Yeferson grew up in the Mountains of Peru, but left his abusive father in search of his mother at the age of 10. He lived on the streets of Lima until he was taken into a Children’s Home in San Bartolo after an amazing woman rescued him from his trouble. There he was put into school and given a life, and soon he found his love for the ocean and surfing.
Kross grew up in Colorado, USA and moved to Hawaii at the age of 9. He started surfing when he was 10 and has never looked back. Although his family has had struggles throughout the past, living humbly and trying to make ends meet, Kross knows he can take all his problems to the ocean to cleanse his soul.
Declan has always loved the beach and started surfing on a body board when he was just 4 years old. Sadly, he stopped surfing after his father committed suicide as the shock and grief overcame it. After a few years out of the water Declan got back to the place he loved, as the solace he finds in the ocean is what make him feel at home.
Henry currently lives in a Children’s Home in Bali, where he moved to when he was 7 years old after some traumatic events left him basically on the streets, with no food or schooling. Henry then discovered his passion for surfing and found healing of his past in the ocean.