The Surfer Kids NON-Profit is an OUTREACH initiative by Unravel Surf Travel. The program is based in Friemersheim, a rural community between George and Mossel Bay, in the Southern Cape of South Africa. Our aim is to bridge the gap left here by South Africa’s history of racial segregation and impoverishment. We offer surf training and travelling opportunities to the children of Friemersheim Primary School.
In conjunction with the weekly surf training sessions of the program, we also incorporate the kids into our Surf Tours during season from November to March! Unravel Surf Travel incorporates The Surfer Kids NON-Profit into every Surf Tour by means of special Outreach Days on Tour! On these particular days The Surfer Kids join us and surf with our clients, on tour with Unravel Surf Travel! We learn from one another how to enjoy the ocean!
But this does not mean that once our Surf Tour season is over we stop doing exciting things with The Surfer Kids NON-Profit! To the contrary. We continue our weekly surf training program with the kids throughout the winter months and we keep ourselves super busy doing all kinds of cool things with The Surfer Kids NON-Profit! Here’s an update on what we’ve been doing with The Surfer Kids’ since our last Surf Tour in March.
South African Grommet Games (28th – 31st March 2013)
The South African Grommet Games is an established feature of South African surfing. It has been held annually at Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth since 1993. The event is a testament to the transformation and development of surfing in South Africa since unification in 1991.
The SA Grommet Games is the most significant building block for the development of surfing in South Africa amongst different cultures. It introduces new participants to the sport of surfing and it enables surfers and families from different communities to get to know each other and have fun!
The event is hosted by Eastern Province Surfing Council and Surfing South Africa. It is also supported by Sports and Recreation South Africa and Billabong.
The SA Grommet Games features a surfing competition, (individual and tag-team) various beach games and lots of fun activities!
The Grommet Games is a national event for provincial teams. Provincial teams are selected based results from trials held in preparation for the Grommet Games. This is the 2nd year in a row that some of our kids from The Surfer Kids’ program have represented the Southern Cape Grommet Team.
After trials were held at Diaz Beach, Mossel Bay in February, a total of six kids from The Surfer Kids program were selected as part of the team. ALSO The Surfer Kids Community Coordinator (and father of two surfer kids) Bennie Joubert was chosen as Team Manager!
Safari Game Drive at Garden Route Game Lodge (1st June 2013)
The Garden Route Game Lodge is a private Game Reserve between Mossel Bay and Albertinia on the N2. This private game reserve boasts Lions, Giraffes, Cheetah, Rhino, Hippopotamus, Elephant, Eland, Gemsbok, Kudu and many other animals! They also have a Reptile Centre with crocodiles, tortoises, indigenous and exotic snakes!
None of The Surfer Kids have ever been on a proper safari game drive so we organized a sponsored game drive for them! The friendly people from the Garden Route Game Lodge were able to accommodate us and offered to give all the kids from our program a sponsored game drive! We had a great time and all the kids were super excited to see so many animals!
Black Sheep Rockonspiracy (4th June 2013)
The Black Sheep Rockonspiracy is a collaborative NON-Profit music tour. The tour is a collaboration between East-German underground rock band Freygang and South African legend Piet Botha and his band Akkedis.
These two musical legends, from opposite sides of the world, have more than just their love of music in common.
Both Freygang and Piet Botha were instrumental in the cultural resistance against the repressive political regimes of their times. In East-Germany, before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Communism in Soviet Russia, there was an extremely oppressive regime in place which did not value human life or personal freedom. Likewise, the apartheid regime of South Africa, before the first democratic election in 1994, was an oppressive and racist regime.
Their love of humanity and our right to freedom unites Piet Botha and Freygang, across space and time. Thus they were brought together, and a NON-Profit musical tour of South Africa, Mozambique and Germany was organised. In keeping with the NON-Profit motive of their tour it was decided that instead of displaying sponsors’ logos on their tour media, they would choose worthy NON-Profit causes and promote these causes through their tour media!
The Surfer Kids NON-Profit was amongst those worthy NON-Profits chosen!
As the bands toured through South Africa one of their stops, en-route to Cape Town, was in Knysna. We decided to take the older kids (over 16) and give them a bit of a musical rock education! We were invited to attend the gig as VIP guests by the tour organisers! All the kids and our program coordinators had a lot of fun watching the rock concert!
Signing The Surfer Kids NON-Profit Trust Deed (27th June 2013)
After two and half years of developing The Surfer Kids NON-Profit, we have finalised the format of our NON-Profit Organisation. Knowing how we want this program to operate, it was time to formalize the NON-Profit nature of the program!
With the help of The Legal Resource Centre in Cape Town we set up a NON-Profit Trust and drafted a Trust Deed! The initial trustees of The Surfer Kids NON-Profit TRUST are: Hermann Vivier (Co-Founder) Jenya Zhivaleva (Co-Founder) Peter Nilssen and Bejamin Joubert (Friemersheim Community Leader and The Surfer Kids’ Community Coordinator)
Go-Pro Photo Session (13th July 2013)
We often photograph the kids when they surf. As it is with any surfer, they are encouraged by seeing themselves surfing! Having recently acquired a Go-Pro camera, primarily for use on tour with Unravel Surf Travel, we decided to let the kids have some fun it! The results were some amazing photos!
Surfboard Repairs (Ongoing…)
Unfortunately we do not have enough Surfboards for all the kids, which means that quite often they have to take turns. This is not ideal. On top of that, with the few surfboard donations that we do receive, the boards are old and in pretty bad shape… Board repairs take a long time. It’s a slow process. Bennie (our Community Coordinator) is in charge of the kids’ board repairs and he spends most Sundays working on the kids’ boards. However, we struggle to keep up with maintaining our boards. It would be great to have more surfboards donated to The Surfer Kids, that way we would always have enough boards that are ready to be surfed!
Upcoming events for The Surfer Kids NON-Profit:
Ross Taylor Benefit Surf Contest (9th – 11th August 2013)
The Ross Taylor Benefit Surf Contest is a NON-Profit event held annually in Buffels Bay. The event serves to commemorate the inspiring life of Ross Taylor, a local surfer who died following an infection in a wound sustained from a shark attack. He survived the shark attack but the resulting infection took his life.
The event organisers donate all funds raised to the hospice who took care of Ross during his last days.
The Surfer Kids NON-Profit play an integral part in this special event. Our kids compete in the development divisions and The Surfer Kids Program Coordinators also organise and run the development divisions of the competition, giving the kids from our program a unique opportunity to experience the organisation of a surf contest! We also usually camp in Buffels Bay for the weekend and this is a huge adventure for all the kids from our program!
This year however some crucial funding has been withdrawn from the event and as a result we are desperrately seeking funds to cover food and transport for The Surfer Kids NON-Profit for the weekend!
For more information and donations email: firstname.lastname@example.org