April news

join the movement

Dear Friends, Partners, and Supporters

Are you missing the beach yet? We certainly are.

In this time of compounding vulnerable and stressful circumstances, Waves for Change remains focused on its mission and so we’re translating 10 years of Surf Therapy experience into a remote, child-friendly mental health service.

You can choose to join the movement to support physical distancing without emotional isolation and scroll down to access our evidence-based resources that you can now practice at home.

You might be surprised at the tools you carry at the tips of your fingers when you learn to “take five” and how to “be Bananas”.

Even with your new “handy” tools, you ain’t seen nothing yet until you watch children with superpowers in surf therapy. All brought to you in this edition of Surf Therapy news.

Enjoy the read, stay safe and look after your physical and mental health.

join the movement

join the movement

You’ve helped raise R11,056 in a week.
Thank you!

For many children in our programme, safety is often found in spaces outside of their homes. During a time in which children do not have access to schools, surf therapy or surf coaches, Waves for Change is adapting to serve our participants and communities with child-friendly mental health services.

With your support, we are able to:

Convert all relevant programme activities into easy-to-follow home guides and resources.
Equip surf coaches with internet data & new skills to safely reach children at home.
• Conduct weekly sessions between our debrief psychologists and surf coaches.
• Extend online mentorship to surf coaches.
Deliver family food boxes to all 1,600 child participant homes at R400 per box with the help of the Lunchbox Fund. We understand that these are particularly challenging times in which mental health will also depend on basic food security.

If you are able, kindly support by providing:

• R250 (monthly) towards internet data for youth coaches, who need to deliver a reliable remote service to children in the programme
• R400 towards food boxes for families of children in the programme
• R640 towards a telephonic debrief psychologist (cost per month)
• R1,500 towards one-on-one mentorship for surf coaches (cost per month)

You can also help by sharing our request with others or starting your own fundraising campaign.


Join Senior Surf Coach, Jose Peffer in a “Take Five”

We are stoked to be able to share adapted versions of our evidence-based mental health activities online, to bring surf therapy and mental health activities into your home. Check out the below link where you’ll be able to find audio files of our Take 5 breathing activity, as well as activities for download in English, isiXhosa, and Afrikaans.

We have more translations and more activities incoming, so stay tuned!

Check out more resources

Waves for Change on the Global Stage

Co-Founders Tim Conibear and Apish Tshetsha, together with Surf Therapy PhD researcher Jamie Marshall, joined retail brand Finisterre at five of their UK stores to share the story of how Surf Therapy in South Africa began, and how that love is being spread to connect communities to the ocean around the globe.
“Our youth are powerful. They just need a platform to express themselves. We know the solutions to the problems we face. We just need the training and support to face and overcome them. This is what we are doing at Waves for Change.”
Apish Tshetsha, Co-founder – Waves for Change SA

read their stories

1 in 59 children, across racial, social, economic, and ethnic boundaries, have been identified with autism.

AUTISM IS MY SUPERPOWER (beautifully shot by Nic Bothma) is a short documentary capturing the journey of Waves for Change participants who are on the autism spectrum, and their parents and teachers, as they practice forming social connections and exploring their own feelings while enjoying the ocean, under the guidance of their caring surf therapy mentors.
“Being part of something like Waves for Change, where there are no demands on what intellectual capabilities you as a person have is so important because it puts everyone on the same level.” says Elana le Roux, head of the Autism unit at Beacon School
Help us deliver food parcels to families in need as identified by the Beacon School.


The bananas culture guides everything we do at W4C. Being bananas means we protect each other and ourselves from harm; we respect each other equally and respect ourselves, and we practice open communication.

We would like to spread our BANANAS culture and keep connected during this time of distance; we’d also like to bridge some of the gaps between people from different communities, geographies, and backgrounds, by sharing a common culture.

We encourage you to join our “W4C BANANAS CULTURE”.
Check out the link below, have a go at being BANANAS and if you share it with us, you might just see yourself popping up on Waves for Change’s social media!