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Dean Knox, owner of Jonginenge Eco Adventures, is teaching township kids to surf and hopes to possibly have a few surfers ready to compete in next year’s surfing grom games in Port Elizabeth.

With the help of his crew, he is changing the lives of young kids from Nompumelelo township in Beacon Bay by giving them new skills, and developing their confidence and courage.

Knox believes that in learning to surf the kids will develop a sense of belonging and not fall for the negative choices in life. He says two Jonginenge guides, Sphamandla Mabhuti Baliso and Siya Tampeki, who also live in Nompumelelo, are positive role models for the kids and crucial to the sustainability and success of the project.

Once a week the children are transported to East London’s Nahoon Beach by taxi and private vehicles where they are given fruit snacks, play a bit of beach soccer and then learn to surf.

The excitement of the kids is evident as the young wanna-be surfers first get a lesson in safety and then learn the basics of riding the waves, albeit in waist-high water.

Since all the costs are paid for by Jonginenge, Knox is always looking for help with the cost of transport and healthy snacks. Old wetsuits and surfboards, towels and swimming shorts for the boys are also welcome.

Pictures: ALAN EASON

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