Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Surfers Not Street Children


Surfers Not Street Children is a unique mentorship project based in Durban, South Africa that empowers former street children as they move from childhood into adulthood, journeying with them towards their own independence. The youngsters, most of whom were orphans and all of whom have had to deal with the realities and trauma of having lived on the streets as children, are transitioning their lives through the Surfers Not Street Children model of fusing a passion for surfing with mentorship and psychosocial support.
What sets the organization apart is that the youngsters in the team are committed to ensuring that other children don’t have to suffer the way that they did. The team engages in activities to inspire and encourage street children and other at risk children through sharing their own life stories, demonstrating their high level of surfing, and their charisma. The team aims to remind these children of their potential and help them to see local available opportunities to transform their lives.
Surfers Not Street Children‘s team of former street children and its founder/Director Tom Hewitt MBE also engage in advocacy focusing on the plight of, and rights of street children around the world. The team are passionate about being a springboard towards a popular global movement around street children and highlighting and leading key campaigns that will change the lives of street children globally.
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Check their website out and see how you can get involved:
 (above) A behind the scenes shot by Luyanda Shabalala
(above) A behind the scenes shot by Luyanda Shabalala
(above) A behind the scenes shot by Luyanda Shabalala
(below) Tom Hewitt, founder of Surfers Not Street Children
(Above and below) Both Jed Kenney and Dr John Dancaster assisted me on the day, so I thought I'd add these great shots of them that we got while testing light.
(above - left to right) Dr John Dancaster, Tom Hewitt and myself.

Who is Tom?
Tom Hewitt MBE is committed to a ”global popular movement around the rights and potential of street children.” He is a campaigner who has worked “in the field” with street children in Africa for over 22 years. He and his wife, Bulelwa, founded Umthombo Street Children in Durban, South Africa in 2004. It grew out of the Durban Street Team, that Tom had started in 1998. Tom was CEO of Umthombo between 2004 and 2012 when he handed over the reigns to a local South African social worker. In January 2011 Tom was awarded and MBE by Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II for his services to street children in Africa. In 2012 Tom founded Surfers Not Street Children in Durban, South Africa and in 2015 founded Freedom Tree UK to support his work with street children.