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Georgia McTaggart-Project Co-ordination
African Surfriders Foundation
African Surfriders Foundation was granted NPO status in 2010. It is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the upliftment of the environment by creating awareness and initiating activities to improve the lives of communities across the African Continent.
Founder, Ryan Smith identified the need for greater community cohesion and communication between all role players. This inspired the creation of African Surfriders Foundation.
Ryan paddled around the Cape Peninsula in a specially designed cage, to raise awareness for ocean safety. He did this at his own cost and without the assistance of corporate funding.
African Surfriders Foundation is a pro-active organisation committed to creating awareness and action on environmental issues surrounding water safety and community sustainability.
African Surfriders Foundation enjoys the mentorship of many international institutions, which provide data to assist The Foundation to pre-empt problems and mitigate them with the co- operation of Local and International governments.
The Foundation’s primary activity is to raise awareness and initiate action for speedy litter control on coastlines. This initiative flows over to raising awareness within lower income communities living near or along delicate ecosystems and who may not have access to regular municipal services.
Initiatives as per African Surfriders Foundation 2010 Constitution include;
· 1.Building of a Taxi rank in Masiphumele to cater to the transport needs of the community.
· 2. Laying of generic lawn at Muizenberg Beach promenade, general upgrade of Muizenberg.
· 3.Establishment of refuse collection points in Masiphumele.
· 4.Masiphumele school pool for water safety education.
· 5.Upgrade of playgrounds and establishment of communal braai area in Ocean View.
To date, Muizenberg Beachfront has been upgraded and now boasts a great restaurant district, integrated with the surfing culture of the neighbourhood, thanks to the sensitivity shown by City of Cape Town in the planning process.
The Masiphumele taxi rank has been actioned by City of Cape Town, plans are being processed and we look forward to seeing 30 000+ people getting to work with dry shoes next Winter.
African Surfriders Foundation assisted the Masiphumele community during the recent shack fires by helping to remove furniture and clothing from people’s homes as they burned to the ground.
African Surfriders Foundation was also directly involved in helping to extinguish fires during the fire season in South Peninsula 2015/2016 and helped to save a Sharkspotter cabin on the mountain from being engulfed by flames.
African Surfriders Foundation is funded through the sale of Smithy Surfboards. The Foundation has recently launched a range of hand-drawn bespoke decals inspired by Nelson Mandela’s groovy shirts. This project is aimed to raise funds for further projects and create awareness among people who make use of the ocean for recreation and sporting activities.
The proceeds from the sale of these decals are donated to The Foundation and are available for sale Worldwide. This means that wherever you live and whoever shapes your boards-You can broadcast your love of the ocean.
African Surfriders Foundation has identified 8 new projects for the period 2016-2019;
We are seeking partners and collaborators to help us to achieve these goals and are calling on all other NPOs, local business, schools and individuals to assist in creating a better environment for all.
· 1.Regular POP UP beach and river clean ups inspired by local communities.
· 2.Pre-school art lessons to Ocean View and Masiphumele schools in order to encourage better fine motor skill development in young children as well as teaching kids about litter management and recycling in the process.
· 3.Recycling centre at Masiphumele and Ocean View.
· 4. Inception of social worker programme in local clinics where mothers can discuss child development and social issues while waiting to see the clinic sister.
· Under water cleanups with the assistance of local diving clubs.
· 5.Awareness campaign with regards to microplastics, encouraging children to collect smaller bits of plastic (we’re hoping this will become a ‘Pokemon Go’ like craze and that schools will compete for the most plastic collected, the best artworks made from them etc).
· 6.ngage with manufacturers to understand their chemical waste disposal systems and assist them with environmental education support where necessary.
· Facilitating beach clean ups under the banner of African Surfriders Foundation, offering support to all communities and clubs by providing them with online marketing support, bags, flags etc where necessary.
About Ryan Smith
Ryan started shaping surfboards at school. He won the Fair Lady Liberty Life Business Start Up award and went on to building a successful surf fashion brand. His passion for the ocean developed at an early age and came of age as he travelled the world surfing and learning from some of the finest surfboard shapers in the world.
Hawaii, Australia and Bali are some of his favourite surfing destinations but he can still be seen surfing the local waves, when he’s not cleaning litter or shaping surfboards.
His first trip to Indonesia woke him up to the state of pollution in what should have been a pristine coastal environment.
“The most beautiful beaches in the world and I was sitting on my board in this polluted, litter strewn toxic soup...watching tourists swimming through waste washed up onto the coastline from ships and other countries...I became really angry and felt I had to do something so I initiated clean ups in the Barunghs, encouraging the locals to clean up what they found lying on the beach and in the water, and it worked!”