Inspiring Street Children
Surfers Not Street Children is a team of former street children who are funny, humble and approachable, charismatic, cool and rip in the water. This is a combination that enables them to have a great impact on the lives of other street children. They are a team that is committed to being part of ensuring that other children don’t have to go through what they went through and can be inspired by the change in their lives. The team visits street children in different cities to meet street children, remind them of their potential and to encourage them to seize opportunities available to them locally. The model used for doing this starts with a local surfing demonstration (or skateboarding accompanied by surf videos of them, if it is landlocked), then surfing lessons for the kids (or skateboarding fun) and then the sharing of their life stories at the local street children projects that these children have access to. Whilst the team of former street children is inspiring the kids, Tom Hewitt provides project technical support, if needed, for the local street children agencies in those areas that are working with these children. In some cases, Surfers Not Street Children helps local agencies develop surfing as part of the strategy for empowering street children in those areas.
Surfes Not Street Children visited Cape Town to work with street children in the Khayelitsha township. It brought together a surfing based development and health project, Waves For Change (a great friend of Surfers Not Street) and a local street children agency. The local kids were inspired and the partnership between the two projects remains today as does surfing as a tool for empowering street children there.
Tom Hewitt started the groundwork for a Surfers Not Street Children project in Sierra Leone. Sadly whilst there, Ebola broke out and Hewitt had to return to South Africa and put the project on hold as it was too dangerous to take the team. Despite having to postpone this work, Surfers Not Street Children is committed to returning to Sierra Leone and continuing the project as soon as it is safe to do so.
Surfers Not Street Children ambassadors will be visiting both Mozambique and Brazil to Inspire local street children.