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…social ills are rife, illiteracy levels are sky high, and children have very few good examples to emulate.
But there is a sense of community… people support one another and there is an inherent joyous atmosphere despite all the hardship. This is the backdrop against which our children are growing up… these are the circumstances we are trying to help them rise above.
66,8% OF CHILDREN UNDER 17 LIVE IN POVERTY
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 the at-risk youth in the areas of Cape Town, Elands Bay, and St Francis Bay.
Based at Strandfontein Pavilion, Cape Town, the project is a haven and refuge for youth who have very few positive role models in their lives.
Why we started
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 combination of surfing, life skills education, and mentorship is a dynamic trio which produces lasting character, enhances self-worth and develops a goal oriented mindset.
“Going the distance means no man is left behind, no child is left unloved and no community is left untouched”
Nigel Savel, Founder
A transformed society where created opportunities are maximised and our youth are effectively developed, empowered and integrated into their communities and society.
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.