The smell of smoke from open fires permeates the air...dogs bark, children cry and shout as they kick balls around on the dusty ground...laundry flaps in the wind, children curiously stare or run up to you in abandoned glee, music blares, people queue for water at communal taps and visit outdoor toilets...tin and wooden homes stand higgledy-piggledy like a maze, the South Easter blows across the sand dunes, people walk for miles to the shop for everyday conveniences, people go hungry, it’s a daily struggle...gangsterism, violence, and open substance abuse are rife, illiteracy levels, teenage pregnancies, and school dropout rates are sky high, and children have very few good examples to emulate. This is the backdrop against which the 9Miles children are growing up... these are the circumstances the 9Miles Project are trying to help them rise above. The solution
Motivated by his love for surfing and the pivotal role that the discipline of this activity played in his life, Nigel Savel, along with his wife Sher’Neil, started the project with the vision of improving their crime and drug-scourged community.
Nigel recognised that the children growing up in the surrounding informal settlements were living with gangsters and drug dealers as role models and that there were very few organised activities or programmes to motivate and mould young, impressionable minds. Surfing was used as a catalyst to entice students to the project and to teach them discipline, determination and life skills.The Organization:
9Miles Project is a registered non-profit organisation that was founded in Cape Town in 2013. The project works with youth in coastal informal settlements and aims to provide mentorship and support to 85 at-risk youth in the areas of Cape Town, Elands Bay, and St Francis Bay. With headquarters at Strandfontein Pavilion, Cape Town, the project is a haven and refuge for kids who have very few positive role models in their lives.
Through the provision of supplementary education, literacy classes, learning adventures, life skills and leadership training, including sports (namely surfing) 9Miles Project creates sustainable opportunities that engage, uplift, equip and empower impoverished and high-risk youth from coastal informal settlements and communities.The Goal:
Imagine transporting kids, running errands, collecting and distributing food, etc. in a little sedan car…that’s what the staff at the 9Miles Project do on a daily basis. Walking along a deserted beach road to the project clubhouse is a tough 30-minute journey for our Strandfontein kids – especially in bad weather and with the fear of violence or child abductions. The journey is worth it though because the clubhouse is a safe and positive environment where they are inspired to achieve their dreams and goals
Over the past few months, some amazing people have been working very closely to develop a unique fundraising campaign for the 9Miles Project.
The goal is to raise enough money to buy a minibus which will allow the organisation to safely transport their 50 Strandfontein students who currently walk to their clubhouse and back. In addition, the vehicle would also allow more frequent trips to their other children in Elands Bay and St Francis Bay on the West and East coasts of South Africa.
Under the supervision of Patrick Burnett, four of the older 9Miles kids built beautiful wooden surfboards which were auctioned off, and sold privately which raised GBP 10 000. Check out the heartwarming short film which showcases the journey and process
. There is a shortfall of GBP 12 000 that needs to be raised to give the kids the gift of wheels!
Help 9Miles get their minibus!
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