What We Do
Waves for Change provides child-friendly mental health services to children and young people in under-resourced communities.
Insight into Surf Therapy and the link to Mental Health
Surf Therapy combines the positive health benefits of surfing and physical activity with activities proven to help young people build protective relationships, identify emotions, self-soothe and build a positive image of their future.
Surf Therapy builds social connections, provides respite from difficult thoughts and feelings, and develops skills to cope with stress.
The Wave Alliance
Through training and mentoring, the Wave Alliance community grows access to community-owned mental health services in coastal communities worldwide.
Research, Learn, Adapt
Waves for Change strives to constantly learn from, refine, and improve our service through monitoring, evaluation, and research. We do this through partnerships with universities and funders, participating in communities of practice & learning networks, and creating spaces for our child and youth voices to be heard in our programme design and delivery.
About Waves for Change
Since 2009, we have worked with universities, children and young people, to develop a community based, child-friendly mental health service.
Through published, participatory research, our Surf Therapy programme has been co-designed with children and youth alongside supervision from local mental health experts, leading to an innovative programme that is both child and youth friendly and evidence based.
Our programme improves children’s well-being through skills to cope with chronic adversity, trauma and toxic stress.
At a community and provincial level, we improve access to community-based, child-friendly mental health services. We provide a best practice model for integrated, physical activity based mental health services in uninsured, under-resourced communities across South Africa.
Report feeling happier
Report feeling more confident
Are better able to calm down when they feel sad, angry or scared
Have improved Heart Rate Variability
Valentino, Surf Mentor, Muizenberg Site
As a coach, we get to talk to a psychologist every week who empowers us to be that support system to the kids.
Brighett, Surf Mentor, Hout Bay Site
I make healthier choices and by that it impacts how I feel, think and behave everyday.
Sisipho, Surf Mentor, Monwabisi Site
Waves for Change created a safe space for me and I was able to talk about my life challenges and I felt belonging in that circle.
Tee-Ann, Surf Mentor, East London Site
I understand how I am feeling and make decisions based on positive outcomes for myself and the people affected.
Tumelo, Surf Mentor, Gqeberha Site
We as coaches are all just as equally dependent on our participants as much as they are on us.
Get a Child to the Beach
Just a ripple can make waves and change lives through surfing and child-friendly mental health.