Submitted by:  Denzil Williams

Denzil wrote: 

As a result of my SMDP course in 2019 through USB-ED, one of the requirements was that each group had to work with an NGO of their choice.  This opened up the door for me to get to work with the 9Miles project.  One of our solutions proposed to the 9Miles Project was to showcase their story in a short film that leads us to this video.  We had a great partner join hands with us, Malcolm Rainers, who used his skill set and love for the Strandfontein community as both of us grew up here.

He depicts the 9 Miles project in an emotive way through the short film created.

Despite the challenges they have with limited funding and the environmental factors, they have the most resilient team in place, driven by their passion and purpose to ensure that the next generation is equipped for their purpose. The poverty-stricken areas that they serve are rife with gangsterism and drugs leaving the youth with little to no hope. This is where the 9Miles Project team comes in and brings hope and fun back into these children’s lives.

Going the distance means no man is left behind, no child is left unloved and no community is left untouched

The 9Miles Project was started by avid surfer Nigel Savel who, along with his wife Sher’Neil, identified a need in their drug- and crime-riddled community for a safe haven for vulnerable youngsters. The Savel’s noticed that there were limited organized community programs and activities available to the youth, leaving them more prone to get involved in gangsterism and other damaging pastimes. Once the decision was made to start an upliftment project, it was decided that surfing would be used as the catalyst to draw prospective students and to teach them determination, discipline, and a host of other valuable life skills. By effectively combining surfing with life skills education and mentorship, it has become possible to instill not only a lasting character but enhanced self-worth, and a goal-oriented mindset in the students as well.