Sentinel Ocean Alliance has partnered with local not-for-profit organisation Jeffreys Bay Surf Alliance, to establish the first child friendly surf therapy and ocean education programme in the iconic surf village of Jeffreys Bay. The aim of this programme is to make community based mental health services accessible to children from the under-resourced coastal communities of Jeffreys Bay, while inspiring them to learn about and care for the oceans.
Surf therapy is an innovative evidence-based programme developed by Waves For Change, that fuses the rush of surfing with mind-body therapy, for children and young people who are exposed to high levels of trauma, violence and adversity.
The JBSA Surf Therapy Programme focuses on therapeutic and health outcomes, rather than sport performance – although the stoke of mastering a new and exciting physical activity like surfing contributes hugely to those well-being outcomes.
The programme provides children with access to caring adults and a supportive peer group, builds a positive self-concept by independently mastering the difficult new tasks of surfing and meditation, and offers respite from the stress caused by the adversity they experience daily.
By including ocean education and awareness into the curriculum, the children are broadening their knowledge about the oceans, the threats they are facing as well as practical solutions to these problems. This will empower and enable the children to become ocean activists and community leaders.
Follow our journey on instagram @jbay.surf.alliance