If you had told me 3 years ago that I would set up a foundation in Hout Bay helping the youth learn more about the ocean I would have said you are dreaming.
I guess what I am saying is that everyday since we started Sentinel Ocean Alliance has been a learning experience as I have no background or history of doing this kind of work.
The reason I decided to start this foundation, though at the time I didn’t know it would turn into what it is today, was because of a video I saw of a young boy being shot in the face during a riot in Hout Bay. The reason it struck me so hard was because it is the same beach where I learnt to surf and where I fell in love with the Ocean.
Watching the video triggered something inside me that I had been thinking about for some time, how to help people less fortunate than one's self?
I wanted to make sure that the child who got shot on his way down to the beach had the same opportunities that I did when I was growing up. Having no idea how or what to start I drove up and down Hout bay Beach and identified a couple of sites that could be used.
Once I identified the site, that we now have, I contacted some people in the community about getting permission to use it and who the land belongs to. I was advised to set up a foundation to apply to use the site. I asked two of my friends to be directors as you need 3 people to start a foundation so I asked Edward Millet and Micah Sarkas to be on the board, soon after Brue Tedder, Julian Rumalow, Shaun Fairhurst and Nathan Sarkas joined the team.
The name came from the SENTINEL mountain that looks over Hout bay, the OCEAN because we want to educate and share with the community the opportunities and beauty that it holds and ALLIANCE that we together as an alliance of people and programmes we can help protect and educate people about our oceans.
The three main programmes that run on our site are the Waves for Change, the Hout Bay Surf Lifesaving Club and the Parley Ocean School. In the coming weeks we will expand more on each of these.
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Founder and Director Sentinel Ocean Alliance