Waves for Change

You can help children from disadvantaged communities ride the wave of change 

Breadline Africa is working with Waves for Change to develop and expand a drop-in centre on Monwabisi Beach for children from the nearby township of Khayelitsha, offering surf therapy and a safe space to build resilience, alleviate trauma and provide hope.

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Waves for change

Since July 2012, Waves for Change has used surfing to alleviate the symptoms of trauma in young people and currently reaches more than 160 children each week. The centre is currently made up of two 12-metre and one 6-metre shipping container. These are used for counselling, storage and cooking.

Recently, Objek Architects approached Waves for Change to explore a new development for the site, which would improve the current design and provide additional space for after-school/homework activities. The team at Objek has kindly undertaken the design of a new and improved drop-in centre, including a new converted 6-metre and 12-metre container placed on top of the existing structure, free of charge. Breadline Africa, as a local expert in the implementation of infrastructure projects, was approached to help to make this dream a reality.


waves for change planned structure


About Waves for Change: 

Launched in 2011, W4C is an award-winning organisation based in Cape Town, led by surfers and mental health professionals. In partnership with township communities (where surfing had never existed) and the University of Cape Town, W4C has adapted the learn-to-surf process into unique, evidence-based learn to surf programmes, delivered by community members trained and mentored by W4C.

Through the provision of surfing, a programme of psychosocial support and the creation of safe spaces, Waves for Change (W4C) promotes wellbeing in children and youth from unstable domestic and/or community situations. 

W4C operates beach centres serving youth from three of Cape Town’s most violent communities. Youth attend an average of two after-school sessions per week, where locally trained Community Coaches combine surfing with mentoring, health home cooked meals and access to counsellors and social workers to improve the mental health of these young people who are in dire need of positive change in their lives.

In 2015, a study of W4C conducted in partnership with the University of Cape Town revealed children attending Waves for Change for 1 year become less violent, more hopeful about their future and better at coping with traumatic events.

waves for change logo