About Us:


Ubuntu Surf School is a community outreach program that branches out of the Gap Year South Africa Surfing Program. Ubuntu Surf School aims at exposing children from the under resourced township of Masiphumelele to the recreational and therapeutic benefits of the ocean through Surf Therapy.


The Ubuntu Surf School is way more than just a surf program. We’ve developed an holistic approach that incorporates a variety of life skills, such as interpersonal relationships, confidence, ocean awareness, and respect for others and the environment. At Ubuntu Surf School, we aim to provide our children with not only surfing skills, but the chance to become leaders in their community who empower others too. We teach our kids through the Ubuntu Spirit Code of Conduct which embodies Respect, Responsibility and Team-work.


Why the Ubuntu Surf School Is Important:


Living in communities such as Masiphumelele (which means “we will succeed in isiXhosa) means exposure to challenges and trauma on a daily basis for our children. These challenges include, but are not limited to, poor access to basic needs and services such as clean water and sanitation, as well as gang violence, substance abuse, and wide spread poverty. Constant exposure to these elements can have a profound impact on the psychological development and well-being of a child. Our program has used surfing and the ocean as an effective medium in which the children are able to grow as individuals and express themselves freely without concern for the challenges that dictate daily life in the township. Even in the relatively short time we’ve worked with our participants, there have been obvious changes in their behaviour and outlook on life.



With access to Volunteers and resources through Gap Year South Africa, the Ubuntu surf school is build upon a simple model of paying it forwards. Our Volunteers come to GYSA and learn how to surf through expert instructors and in turn, they are given the opportunity to share the same stoke of learning how to surf with others.


A portion of the Surfing Program Volunteers fees goes towards the Ubuntu Surf School for operational costs, and help sustain it.


Gap Year South Africa teaches each volunteer how to Instruct for the Ubuntu Surf School, so no matter what your level or knowledge of surfing is, eac volunteer goes through an Instructor Training Process in order to safely conduct surf lessons. This training process is designed to empower the volunteer whilst equiping them with the necessary skills needed to ensure the childs’ safety and progression in the water.


The Volunteers Responsibilities on the program:


  • Prepare and Maintain the Surf Equipment including boards and wetsuits pre and post each Ubuntu Surf Lesson.
  • Guide and help the children in the lesson following the Lead instructors direction and according to the lesson plan set out for each volunteer.
  • Mentor and build trusting relationships with the children, monitoring their individual progress in their programs, as well as behaviour and personal growth.
  • Help conduct safe and fun lessons for the children.

Volunteer/Instructor Training:


  • Swim lesson training – ensure ourselves and others safety in the water
  • Managing the Equipment and lesson productivity
  • Guiding Children through the waves
  • Pushing in/ assisting beginners, Intermediates and advanced surfers.
  • Currents, Tides and Wave Height
  • How to Create a lesson plan activity sheet
  • Misbehaviour and Mentoring Children

Volunteer Schedule:


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