Surfpop: changing communities through surfing | Photo: Surfpop

At the southwestern tip of Africa lies a small village called Muizenberg, the mecca of surfing in South Africa.

It is also home to an organization called Surfpop, which is creating ripples of positive change in the disadvantaged communities of the Southern Peninsula.

Surfpop takes a unique approach to community upliftment by using surfing as a tool to enrich and transform lives.

The program works with youth in surrounding townships who may otherwise have little hope of escaping their socio-economic environment: poverty, crime, drugs, and gangsterism are some of the daily battles these children face.

Since its launch in 2015, Surfpop has come a long way and now has roots in the township of Masiphumelele.

Surfpop works with ten boys, the youngest one being 6 and the oldest 15. Most of the younger boys attend Ukhanyo Primary in Masiphumelele, and the older boys in Masiphumelele High.

Surfing is still the driving force of the program, but it is now also an incentive to attend homework classes and improve the children's levels of education.

Therefore, Surfpop has secured a classroom located on the Chasmay Road Campus just outside Masiphumelele and is doing assisted homework classes twice a week.

If the kids don't attend homework classes, they don't get to go surfing. The campus is run by Masicorp, an organization that works with 25 projects offering opportunities through education and enterprise to help residents progress out of poverty toward a sustainable livelihood.

Surfpop: sharing the stoke with disadvantaged boys from the Southern Peninsula | Photo: Surfpop

"Together with Masicorp, we are able to give the boys a safe space next to Masiphumelele High School where they can meet," the organization told SurferToday.

The boys that join Surfpop are encouraged to stay with Surfpop until they finish their schooling, after which they are given assistance with their tertiary education.

"We want to provide financial and moral support to help the boys reach their full potential. This is all in an attempt to prepare the boys for roles within the organization."

There are already many roles that the boys could fulfill: tour guide, driver, chef, surf instructor, surf coach, project co-coordinator or supervisor, accommodation manager, and so on.

Besides that, Surfpop gives the boys the opportunity to get in touch with other crafts by organizing workshops given by different craftsmen.

Surfpop is now also a member of The Hive, which is situated in the heart of Muizenberg Village. The Hive is a multifunctional co-working space that gives the opportunity for the community and individuals to connect, collaborate and create Muizenberg.

Surfpop uses The Hive as their surf headquarters and a safe space for the boys. The Hive allows Surfpop the opportunity to meet and interact with other creators, entrepreneurs, projects, and initiatives.

Surfpop is a social enterprise that aims to grow in order to constantly create more job opportunities for boys. The organization is fuelled by a volunteer program, which consists of a month-long surf adventure holiday.

Want to get involved? Surfpop is always looking for contributors, volunteers, collaborators, and donors willing to go on a journey and take the chance to change lives. Get in touch with the organization.

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