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The Surfer Kids was founded in 2010 in Mossel Bay, in the Southern Cape of South Africa and is a registered Non-Profit Organization (NPO) with registration number 136-987 NPO.


"The empowerment of marginalized and impoverished youths through  character building activities that teach commitment and dedication"

Our primary medium for achieving this objective is surfing.

THE SURFER KIDS Board of Trustees are:

Hermann Vivier

Co-Founder, Chairman

Jenya Zhivaleva

Co-Founder, Trustee

Andries Matthysen


Thinus Mouton


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THE SURFER KIDS was originally founded as the Social Outreach Arm of UNRAVEL SURF TRAVEL, a surf & travel business partnership between husband & wife Hermann Vivier and Jenya Zhivaleva.

UNRAVEL SURF TRAVEL specializes in Surf Trips throughout Southern Africa and provides ongoing support to THE SURFER KIDS, which includes an Outreach Day with THE SURFER KIDS on every two-week Surf Trip of the Garden Route!

The Surfer Kids have since evolved into an fully fledged independent organization, with a Core Surf Program that runs five days a week and a team comprising 3 full-time and 2 part-time members.

The Surfer Kids is funded entirely through donations, both from local and international supporters, businesses and partner organizations.

After six years of being operational, in 2016, The Surfer Kids realized their long term goal, and achieved their most significant milestone to date, by opening a permanent headquarters at Diaz Beach.


The Surfer Kids Center at Diaz Beach houses an equipment inventory, a surfboard repair facility and a media center with high speed Internet. It has enabled The Surfer Kids to vastly expand the scope and efficacy of their program.

Another major milestone was achieved in 2017 when, after several years' of participation, The Surfer Kids won their first medal at the annual South African Grommet Games.

The South African Grommet Games, organized by Surfing South Africa and supported by the Department of Sport and Recreation, is a national tournament with a 25 year history. The first Grommet Games was held in 1991, three years before the South Africa's historic first democratic election. The primary focus of the Grommet Games is unity, transformation and development within the sport of surfing in South Africa.

The Surfer Kids first participated in the Grommet Games, as part of the Eden District Team, in 2012, and returned to the event every year since. But with serious competition from over a hundred children, comprising teams from 8 Districts, reaching the final stages of the event posed a serious challenge.

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That was until March 2017 when 7-year old Owethu ‘Sam’ Tabata surfed his way into the closely contested u8 Final and earned a bronze medal. This was backed up in 2019, when Sibulele Ntosho also earned a bronze medal in the u8 division at the Grommet Games.


Later that same year (2019) The Surfer Kids was represented at the South African Junior Surfing Championships for the first time ever. Mpho Ngaleka qualified to compete at South Africa's most prestigious junior surfing event when he was selected to represent the Eden District Surfing Association in the u16 division.


The Surfer Kids are always learning, expanding and improving it's operations, to be as effective as possible in helping the children of Mossel Bay's poorest townships empower themselves.

To understand how we do that, read about our Core Surf Program. And consider making a donation to support the work that we do.

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