More about Waves for Change
The burden of poverty on South African township communities, combined with unstable domestic backgrounds, under-performing schools and overstretched social services means many young adults from township communities are exposed to sustained trauma through neglect, abuse and violence.
This has manifested in increasing numbers of young adults presenting with behavioral and learning difficulties: Up to 43% of youth entering education drop out. Spikes in gang involvement and drug abuse have seen the Western Cape (where Waves for Change is based) overtaking Gauteng as South Africa’s most violent province.
Waves for Change is an early intervention aimed at identifying unstable youth at risk of social exclusion following childhood trauma and neglect. Surfing, a high-risk action sport, is used to consume some of the hardest to reach youth into long-term programming where locally trained child and youth care workers can addresses the underlying trauma and emotional scarring that leads many of the most vulnerable youth at high risk of violent, anti-social and criminal behavior, often leading to their long-term social exclusion.