The program

About the program

Surfpop currently has 34 child beneficiaries. Children are selected or referred through various channels, including schools, social workers and organizations working with orphans and vulnerable children. Selected beneficiaries are vulnerable to the challenges in their township community, are orphans or come from the most disadvantaged families, do not have access to a safe space after school, and need support with their school work. Each week after school the children participate in two surf sessions and three education classes, complemented by daily nutritious meals.

Surfing 2 x Weekly

Surfing is the life and soul of Surfpop. As a sport, surfing connects the children with the beauty and power of the ocean. It opens their eyes to a new way of life by being active, healthy and closely connected to nature. In Masiphumelele township children are exposed to violence and other forms of trauma. The ocean and surfing can have powerful healing effects. With a playing field that is constantly changing and defined by the force of the ocean, surfing is a sport that teaches participants self-belief, determination and perseverance and creates a deep sense of belonging: the Surfpop participants do not just define themselves as children from Masiphumelele; they define themselves as surfers, being part of a surf community with people from all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Each week the children join two team-focused surf sessions in Muizenberg that start with a yoga and fitness routine and are complemented by swimming lessons and breathing exercises. To nurture the love for the ocean, Surfpop organises monthly beach clean-ups with the children that educate them about the importance of caring for the environment.

“SPORT HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD. IT HAS THE POWER TO INSPIRE. IT HAS THE POWER TO UNITE PEOPLE IN A WAY THAT LITTLE ELSE DOES. IT SPEAKS TO YOUTH IN A LANGUAGE THEY UNDERSTAND. SPORT CAN CREATE HOPE WHERE ONCE THERE WAS ONLY DESPAIR.”

– Nelson Mandela

Education 3 x Weekly

Education is an important element of the Surfpop formula. It helps the children improve their school performance, formulate their dreams and build their future.

Each week after school, the children attend three education sessions. In the Surfpop classroom, the children are supported with their homework and participate in a mix of high quality online, one-on-one and interactive learning programs focused on Maths, English and computer literacy. The programs are tailored to the individual learning level of each child and make learning fun. During the classroom break, the children do a short stretch and meditation practice.

The classroom sessions are complemented by vocational workshops and life coaching. Surfpop facilitates the workshops in partnership with local organisations and businesses. These glimpses into different vocations open their eyes to a world of possibilities and dreams. Surfpop helps the children discover and realize their dreams, by coaching them in their personal development and by guiding them towards a desired and sustainable future.

Nutrition 5 x Weekly

Before and after each surf or education session, Surfpop provides the children with a nutritious meal to give them an extra boost in the water and extra mental clarity when solving problems in the classroom. The meals are accompanied by nutrition education. In our Surfpop vegetable garden, the children learn to plant their own vegetables and learn about the health benefits and origins of fruits, vegetables and other types of food. Every week the children can take some healthy vegetables home.

Long-lasting opportunities

To ensure long-lasting change, the children benefit from the Surfpop program throughout their schooling or until they access better future opportunities. Towards the end of their schooling, Surfpop supports the children with entering tertiary education or with obtaining a decent job in line with their dreams and unique skills set. The affiliated tourism business – which hosts Surfpop volunteers in Muizenberg and provides them with surf lessons, yoga lessons and tours around the Cape Peninsula – and the wide network of friends of Surfpop, can provide for such job opportunities.