Waves for Change – Surf Therapy for Violent Communities

Our Impact

Our Impact

Bringing surf therapy to brand new coastlines across Africa

Since 2012, W4C trained and resourced local communities across the Western Cape of South Africa to launch and scale Surf Therapy programmes targeting young people impacted by trauma and stress. Every week, community coaches trained and mentored by Waves for Change reach hundreds of children, parents and teachers, bringing surfing and surf therapy to new communities and opening up new stretches of coast to surf culture. W4C is the largest Surf Therapy body on the African continent and continues to grow.

In 2015, W4C ran a randomised controlled trial with the assistance of the University of Cape Town. The trial tested 200 young people for signs of improved wellbeing following 5 months involvement in a W4C course. 65% of 200 W4C youth (referred for learning and behaviour issues consistent with repeat exposure to traumatic events) reported program derived improvements to their wellbeing. 85% reduced risk­behaviour, 77% decreased anti­social behaviour and 64% improved school engagement based on W4C participation. Over 60% of W4C community coaches, formally youth not in education of training (NEET), found additional paid work following their training by W4C.
Since 2016, W4C works with surfing and non-surfing organisations from around the world to share its teaching methodology. W4C partnerships increase the capacity of organisations to structure programmes to improve the wellbeing of at-risk youth, and to measure and communicate impact. If you would like to partner with W4C, contact us now (link to contact us).