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Waves For Change

Project Overview

What?  Waves for Change is an award-winning surf therapy and community building organisation that operates in Cape Town communities that experience high levels of violence and poverty. It identifies and operates only in ocean-side poor communities that suffer from greater than 25% HIV infection, greater than 50% youth unemployment, documented evidence of gang crime, and documented evidence of a high level of substance abuse. Its work in those communities is focused on helping children and young adults affected by emotional and psychological trauma to develop the coping skills and emotional resilience they need to transition to stable futures.

How?  Waves for Change operates at three sites in different areas of Cape Town – Khayelitsha, Lavender Hill and Masiphumelele. The three sites were chosen following extensive community based research and consultation with local community members, NGO’s, CBO’s and local government. Each offers a range of services alongside Surf Therapy, including Home Visits, School Visits, Social Work, Soup Kitchen, Child and Youth Care Training, and Homework Support. Across the three programmes, Waves for Change reaches 220 children every week and has created 18 new positions of employment, introducing vital new skills sets and job opportunities.

Outcomes?  Waves for Change Surf Therapy has proven effective in stabilising youth with behaviour and learning problems. It is focused on reconnecting youth to their emotions and feelings and exploring behaviour triggers and new coping mechanisms. The programme also connects students to locally trained child and youth care workers; these NEET youths receive a two-year apprenticeship provided by Waves for Change. The placement yields nationally accredited qualifications in child and youth care work, first aid, lifesaving and surf coaching, allowing graduates to enter the formal job market and improving local child protection capacity.



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