9Miles Project is a registered non-profit organisation that was founded in Cape Town in 2013. They are based at Strandfontein Pavilion and work with youth in coastal informal settlements. providing mentorship and support to the at-risk youth in the areas of Cape Town, Elands Bay, and St Francis Bay.
The project is a haven and refuge for youth who have very few positive role models in their lives. The combination of surfing, life skills education, and mentorship is a dynamic trio which produces lasting character, enhances self-worth and develops a goal-oriented mindset. Alongside the surf and life skills programme, 9Miles also provide afterschool assistance, skills training, computer literacy and even art & music therapy to the youth within these informal settlements.
On the West Coast of South Africa lies a sleepy coastal village called Elands Bay – home to South Africa’s best left-hand surf spot – and yet the children in the community have no positive activities to engage them and they are not water savvy.
The Elands Bay Surf Project was established in September 2016 when the 9Miles team from Cape Town ventured to Elands Bay to host a Life Empowerment Surf Clinic for the youth within the impoverished community. As a result of the success of their Clinic (as well as recognising that there were very little positive recreational activities for youth in the area) the team collaborated with various individuals who grasped the vision and identified the need to make the youth development programme a permanent feature. Elands Bay has since become a satellite outreach programme of the 9Miles Project.
There are roughly 200 children who benefit, in various ways, from the Elands Bay programme and a team from 9Miles Cape Town visits the area every six weeks to conduct life empowerment, mentorship and surfing lessons.
9Miles was in need of a safe space to run their operations in Elands Bay and from where the outreach programme could take place. Breadline Africa and their donors were thrilled to provide the infrastructure in the form of a 48m² prefab clubhouse, which was handed over on the 8 February 2021.
Nigel Savel, along with his wife Sher’Neil, who started the project with the vision of improving their crime and drug-scourged community, are passionately helping young children break the cycle of poverty and equipping them with skills which will help them to grow and learn. Both are thrilled and wrote “We are so incredibly grateful for this support and can’t thank you enough! The kids are already loving the space and it is much bigger than we expected. Many thanks once again for this amazing opportunity – we truly appreciate the partnership and support. Sending your team much love from a very excited 9Miles Project whose dream you have made a reality”.
Breadline Africa is proud to provide much needed infrastructure so that they can continue the wonderful work they are doing in these coastal communities.