Cape Town. – We held our first Travel Massive #MiniMassive, gathering a few local media and bloggers to the Waves for Change container site on the beachfront in Muizenberg, to learn more about this inspiring project. Meeting some of the instructors and children in surf therapy as they arrived from school for their afternoon in the healing ocean.
This is part of what co-founder Tim told us on the day:
‘Waves for Change started organically at Muizenberg beach. On occasional weekends and weekdays between 2010 and 2011, Tim Conibear and Elizabeth Benninger – both foreign nationals studying and working in South Africa – began running informal surfing sessions for young people from the Masiphumelele and Lavender Hill communities.
With the assistance of co-founders, Apish Tshetsha and Bongani Ndlovu, a programme began to develop that identified and met a gap in the provision of primary social care and support to vulnerable young adults. It was found many young South Africans faced daily exclusion due to behavioural or learning difficulties, often arising from continued exposure to violence or acute emotional / psychological stress (trauma).
Surfing was found to offer genuine therapeutic benefits that helped young adults from some of Cape Town’s most unstable communities develop basic coping skills and emotional stability.’
Eighteen youth care workers are trained to teach the children that need it most, acting as much needed local role models and carrying their work back to the communities they come from. Scary to know that these children may have between 15 and 20 traumatic experiences in a single year, compared to people in Europe or the USA who might have 3 or 4 in an entire lifetime.
Surfing is proving an excellent escape and therapy, bringing them closer to nature and offering an outlet and new focus. Here are some pics I took on the day.
Some of the care workers kitting up.
Lessons and stretching on the beach before taking to the waves.
You can get involved by donating a surfboard or wetsuit to the team, dropping off sandwiches in the afternoon for the hungry surfers or simply sponsoring a surfer with a surfboard. Loads of options available here.
So proud to know about this incredible initiative in our city.
Learn more at www.waves-for-change.org, the beautiful website created with compliments by Auric Consulting. Like their facebook page, sign up for their newsletter, follow them on Instagram. Get involved. They deserve it!