Waves for Change – Surf Therapy for Violent Communities

Our Approach

Our Approach

Our award-winning methodology to help youth cope with stress & trauma
W4C adapted the learn-to-surf pathway into evidence-based courses that help young people from volatile backgrounds develop skills and techniques to regulate behavior, cope with stress, build healing relationships and make positive life-choices. Courses use techniques rooted in mindfulness, cognitive behaviour and play based therapies.

Waves for Change works in partnership with local communities and develops locally-owned Surf Therapy programmes at beaches adjacent to volatile communities, often with no history of Ocean use, where children are regularly exposed to stressful and traumatic events.

In communities that lack resources to offer appropriate social and emotional support to youth and their families, W4C trains influential community stakeholders to identify and refer youth at high-risk of exclusion into W4C programmes.

To embed local ownership of programming, W4C recruits, trains and mentors youth out of education of training (NEET) to deliver W4C Surf Therapy courses. By training local community members to run programmes, W4C improves child-care resources in target communities and improves employment prospects for NEET’s.

Since 2012, W4C has trained and resourced local communities across the Western Cape of South Africa to launch and scale Surf Therapy programmes, reaching hundreds of children, parents and teachers each week. W4C is the largest Surf Therapy body on the African continent and continues to grow.