Waves for Change was launched in the township of Masiphumelele in August 2011 before expanding to a second site at Monwabisi Beach, Khayelitsha, in August 2012.
Put simply, Waves for Change aims to turn previously disused township beaches into hubs for skills training and social justice. We target communities and beaches with no history of ocean or surf culture and develop beachside safe hubs. We train local community members – the first surfers ever to emerge from their communities – to run these hubs and to use surfing to recruit the hardest-to-reach and most vulnerable youth in their communities into programmes that offer extra social, health and educational support.
We target the most excluded: school drop-outs, young adults who have suffered physical or sexual abuse, young adults involved in street gangs and who abuse substances and young adults from child-run homes at significant risk of long-term street life. We believe the only way to effect long-term change is to equip local community members with the skills they need to address endemic developmental issues themselves. That we can achieve this riding waves if a huge bonus!
Today, Waves for Change employs a team of 13 local coaches and reaches over 400 youth per year.