Breadline Africa is working with Waves for Change to develop and expand a drop-in centre on Monwabisi Beach for children from the nearby...

Riding the waves of change – using tech to do good

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South African non-profit organisation (NPO), Breadline Africa, in partnership with Waves for Change, an NPO based in Muizenberg, Cape Town is using crowd funding to raise money to develop and expand a drop-in centre on Monwabisi Beach for children from the nearby township of Khayelitsha, offering surf therapy and a safe space to build resilience, alleviate trauma and provide hope.

“Monwabisi Beach has a reputation for being one of the most dangerous beaches in the world,” said Breadline Africa’s director, Tim Smith. “ And it’s not just the big waves or the possibility of sharks.”

He went on to explain that poverty and crime go hand in hand – and Monwabisi’s proximity to Khayelitsha leaves visitors vulnerable to crime, especially from youngsters whose circumstances leave them with few options. But since July 2012, Waves for Change has been using surfing to alleviate the symptoms of trauma in young people and currently reaches more than 160 children each week. “Not only do the youth learn how safely negotiate the water on their surfboards, they learn coping skills and resilience from locally trained community coaches.”

The organisation’s centre currently consists of two 12-metre and one six-metre shipping container. Youth attend an average of two after-school sessions per week, where the coaches combine surfing with mentoring, health home-cooked meals and access to counsellors and social workers to improve the mental health of these young people who are in dire need of positive change in their lives.

The plan is to renovate the existing containers, add two new ones, located on top of the existing structures and create an open deck area – offering more space for Waves for Change’s life changing interventions, breaking the cycles of negative behaviour in communities ravaged by violence, abuse and neglect.

You can help us to change lives, one wave at a time … to transform one of South Africa’s most dangerous beachfronts into a haven for children and their families to play and heal.