Marchall, who is now 19 years old first joined The Surfer Kids NON-Profit's Core Surf Program when he was 12 years old and was part of the group that we took surfing for the first time on November 20 2010. He surfed with the program on a regular basis for 6 years and he's walked a very long road with us, overcoming many challenges along the way.
Marchall was one of two Surf Trip Assistants who worked on Unravel Surf Travel's 30th Surf Trip, from 26th November - 8 December 2017.
In his own words, The Surfer Kids changed not only his life, but that of his entire family. His father struggled with drugs and alcohol for many years and his family was on the verge of splitting up when they first became involved with The Surfer Kids, Marchall as a Core Surf Program participant and his father as a Community Coordinator.
Through their involvement with The Surfer Kids, they transformed their lives. Today Marchall is a qualified lifeguard and, when he's not patrolling the beaches around Mossel Bay, he works in his father's construction business.
This is the first time that Marchall has worked for Unravel Surf Travel on one of their Surf Trips. He's the first participant to have come all the way through The Surfer Kids Core Surf Program, up to a point where he was entrusted with upholding the reputation of Unravel Surf Travel, a private business catering for an overseas clientèle.
While The Surfer Kids and Unravel Surf Travel are separate entities, with very different objectives, there has always been a symbiotic relationship between the two.
And this, a Surfer Kids' graduate working for Unravel Surf Travel on a Surf Trip, is the ultimate expression of that relationship.
We've always known that the final test, and best proof of The Surfer Kids' methods, will come when faced with this challenge.
If we could take a demotivated young boy, staring down an empty dusty road in a half forgotten rural township, and help him discover within himself a confident young man, and if we could train him, physically and mentally, to handle the rigorous demands of an all-inclusive two-week Surf Trip, catering for a large group of paying clients from abroad, then we've managed to empower him.
And Marchall has done an excellent job.
There can be no doubt that he will create many more opportunities for himself and make a success of his chosen path.
And today, after completing this challenge, he's the embodiment of The Surfer Kids' mission of empowerment and he provides proof positive that The Surfer Kids' mission is realistically achievable and that our methods are effective.