Our thanks to Vimto Softdrinks who have been a key partner of Waves for Change right from the very beginning. Typing this, i look back to the days of busing kids back and forth from Masi to Muizenberg in a creaky old Chana Bakkie. I remember the kids piling into the back whilst Apish and I contorted ourselves as best we could into the front compartment. At this stage we were busy writing early course material and i was teaching Apish to surf. We made for a pretty comical crew, bouncing over the mountain and charging around the beach in second hand threadbare suits and busted up old surf boards.
Matt, the head of Vimto Africa, witnessed one of these early sessions after we had met through a mutual friend. I remember he came by on a windy day sometime in early spring 2011. It was hardly inspiring; cold, wet, grey and fairly shambolic, but we chatted about the vision of Waves for Change and what we were trying to achieve, and he offered to support the programme with a VW Combi. It was the first support the programme had received and i remember the feeling driving home in the Chana, chatting to Apish that we might be onto something.
Today the programme has grown. Apish runs the coaching and is responsible for training a crew of 8 Waves for Change coaches who run centres in both Muizenberg and Monwabisi. As we have grown, so Vimto have supported us, kitting the two sites out with brand new wetsuits this year to keep our participants in the water for longer and allow the coaches to complete the educational sessions that make up Waves for Change.
The support of our partners over the last 18 months has made Waves for Change possible. It´s made meaningful education through surfing a reality, it´s bought kids to the beach at Monwabisi which was once all but deserted, it´s created new jobs revolving around HIV education in Cape Town´s townships and its helped us develop curriculum and manuals which we hope will effect a wider community over time.
Our thanks to Matt and the guys. Bananas!