The Surf Outreach Project in Muizenberg works with disadvantaged kids from the surrounding townships and supports them through their education while giving them a chance to surf and enter local surfing competitions. So far they have had about 9 Western Province Surfers come through their program, and a further 4 SA champs surfers too. One of them being Ntando who was actually Western Province team captain in 2017.
The video got you interested and feeling good right? Yeah, me too. So here’s a little more information about the program straight from the horse’s mouth.
Their Mission: We are a community development program that specializes in behavioural development as well as skill building. Our goal is to assist personal growth in life skills and education.
Our daily routine consists of after-school education, where staff and volunteers assist the learners with homework and other projects, where we work closely with the schools to ensure that all work is up to date. We provide them with an environment in which they can learn how to take control of their lives and their futures by using the grounding foundation of surfing as a reward for the efforts they put in.
Over the past few years, surfing and sport have been used around the world as a therapy, with nutrition playing a key role in keeping not only the body fit but the mind sharp too. This is why we try to offer wholesome nutritious meals every day.
The project’s direction has changed more toward an educational platform, to successfully provide our learners with the right guidance and tools to help them with projects and personal growth in life. Our main goal is to ensure that our learners have a safe environment where they have the opportunity to be kids again.
Their History: The Surf Outreach was established in 2013 and started with 12 learners out of Capricorn and Lavender Hill and primarily focused on surfing. However, in the past two years, the program has seen a big need for additional educational support outside of school.
The Surf Outreach Center has since been changed from surf equipment storage to six different learning centres. This includes:
games room study classroom chill-zone library Computer lab (in progress) With these centres we are able to offer a variety of fun and educational activities in an inviting setting.
Their Team: The learners are guided by Darron Nicholson and Anthony Sivewright. Darron grew up in similar circumstances as most of the learners. He was raised in Ocean View and experienced the same issues as some of the learners. Due to his upbringing, he can connect with the learners better and tries to teach them through his own experiences.
Anthony runs the program, which entails a lot of organizational work and administration. In addition, he teaches the learner’s life skills and offers them a space to be open and honest about things troubling them. He also takes action when it comes to bigger problems like home life and social issues. This includes parents/ guardian meetings as well as the support of families, housing, food and school-related6 issues.
Anthony and Darron play the role of mentors at the Surf Outreach, by creating a safe space for learners to share and open up about issues in their lives. The welfare of each and every child is of top priority. The Surf Outreach also relies on volunteers to bring a variety of cultures, skills and ideas to the program. This introduces the learners to a bigger world, with more opportunities and bigger dreams.
Their learners: Our learners are young people growing up in South African townships (Capricorn, Lavender Hill) and face regular exposure to domestic and community violence, drugs, gangs and alcohol.
This continuous exposure to trauma influences the way they behave and learn, which results in continuous cycles of violence, social exclusion and high-risk behaviour. Currently, we have 36 learners between the ages of 8 and 18. These learners attend the program on a regular base. Each year as we grow we are approached by an increasing number of learners, parents and teachers who inquire about joining the program.
When this happens they are required to sit with Anthony or Darron who in turn talk to them about how the program runs and what the requirements are to become a member. All new learners are required to show their commitment towards the program and only then will they go through swimming training and surf lessons. Through our leadership program, learners who have been with the program for some time are then given more responsibilities, such as teaching, guiding and mentoring the younger learners.