Many NGOs work with children and young people – and mostly with children and young people that grow up in exceptionally difficult circumstances. Poverty and inequality often form the backdrop to a difficult and painful childhood marred by toxic environments of violence and abuse that leave children and young people traumatised. Waves for Change is an NPO with a very specific approach to dealing with trauma in children. Waves for Change share practical advice for all of us who might work with children or young people who are traumatised – whether that is the core focus of our work or not.
Often our core work as an NPO is not necessarily to deal with the trauma of children, we might try to teach them reading, or we might provide school tutoring, but in the process, we discover how traumatised they are. We also may discover that, depending on the severity of their situation, we are often required to take specific action or at least to act in a very sensitive way, keeping in mind what they have been through and how it impacts their lives and their ability to do the work that we would like to do with them.
Waves for Change (W4C) has been operating since 2011 and introduces surf therapy to underprivileged children. Founder Apish Tshetsha, who leads the Waves for Change programme in Masiphumelele township, will explain how W4C approaches their work with young people, and Sinda Thakathani, who started off as one of the children participating in the W4C programme, but is now a W4C instructor and the first black South African to represent South Africa in an international surfing competition, will talk about his personal experience being supported through W4C and together Apish and Sinda will provide helpful advice to all of us who find ourselves in a position where we need to provide support to traumatised children and young people.
Learn more here.