W4C founder, Tim Conibear explains: “The centre has been re-designed and improved with newly converted six and 12 metre containers placed on top of the existing structure and painted throughout to offer a fresh and rejuvenated look for the young surfers to enjoy. The expansion will provide dedicated space for counselling, as well as additional storage and cooking facilities for the 250 children each week.”
A collaborative effort, the team at Objek approached W4C to explore development opportunities for the site, providing their design expertise free of charge. Breadline Africa, local experts in implementation of infrastructure, made the vision a reality, raising the required funds to purchase the containers and paint them with the generous support of their UK, Irish, Dutch and South African donors.
Breadline Africa’s Director, Marion Wagner, who lives in Muizenberg, where the organisation is based, said “I have followed the successes of W4C and have seen the impact that it has on the youth from surrounding disadvantaged communities and was so pleased when this opportunity to make a tangible difference was presented. Their work is truly inspirational.”
She added that she was looking forward to seeing this project going from strength to strength.
Key project representatives, local government officials and W4C supporters joined children from the W4C programme to celebrate the new space. Guests enjoyed light refreshments before taking part in the ‘killo’ – a pre-surf warm-up of that builds energy, motivation and confidence before the children head into the water. Monwa’s site manager Lunga spoke about the impact the redevelopment will make during a welcome address:
“Monwa is the largest of the W4C sites, with this development we can now operate to scale and it is fantastic! Not only are we will be able run multiple sessions simultaneously, we have storage which will keep equipment intact for much longer and most importantly it gives us the opportunity to accommodate more children in the programme.’
The re-development at Monwa is part of a larger expansion project for Waves for Change who have recently launched three new sites: Port Elizabeth, East London and most recently a site in Harper, Liberia. The new centres are in addition to the three existing sites that operate throughout South Africa providing children from violent communities with a safe space, access to caring adults and a provision of surf therapy.
Speaking about the growth of Waves for Change, Founding Director Tim Conibear said:
“It is our goal to keep building new W4C sites where we can and reach communities where metal health services are under resourced or stigmatized. The success of programme is proving that surfing is a legitimate form of therapy and we want to try and make it available to as many children and young adults as possible.”