Mission & vision

Why we started Surfpop

Surfpop is a registered non-profit organisation, founded by Daniel Botha in 2015. Daniel discovered surfing, fell in love, and the rest is history. As he spent most of his free time on his surfboard in the ocean, closely connected to nature, surfing became a life changing experience for him. As a surf enthusiast, he had a strong desire to share his passion for surfing and the ocean with at-risk children and youth from township communities in Cape Town, who do not have the same opportunities he had during his childhood.

As a result of Apartheid, South Africa has the highest income inequality in the world, divided along racial lines. As a result, a quarter of the South African population lives in township communities, where poverty, violence, crime, drug abuse and gangsterism make the living circumstances very hard. Children growing up in these communities are exposed to trauma and neglect from a very young age, which are the biggest contributing factors to the state of mental health in South Africa, which ranks as one of the worst globally. Moreover, children in township communities do not have access to good quality education or jobs after school. With 46.5 percent of youth in South Africa being unemployed there is little hope for these children to escape the poverty trap.

Daniel realised that providing the most vulnerable children from these communities with a safe and stimulating program after school, combining surfing with education, life coaching and nutrition, can be a powerful way to help the children deal with their trauma, guide them through their school years and prepare them for the world of work. Starting with only 11 children in 2015, Surfpop currently supports 70 children, who are referred by foster care and social workers in three township communities in Cape Town. Surfpop is proud of its first graduates, who have all gained access to college, university or employment.

Our mission

Surfpop builds a sustainable future for vulnerable children growing up in South African townships through surfing, education and life coaching. Surfing promotes the physical and mental wellbeing of the children, and combined with focused after-school education and life coaching, improves their school performance, guides them towards sustainable employment and promotes their role as ambassadors in their communities for living a balanced and healthy life, caring for and in touch with nature.

Our vision

Surfpop aims to give vulnerable children from South African townships the best chance at living life to the fullest: active, healthy and in touch with nature, who can access sustainable employment after school to truly lift themselves out of poverty and positively impact their community.