Surfers Not Street Children x O’Neill: Transforming lives through surfing

Surfers Not Street Children x O'Neill: Transforming lives through surfing

Surfing has the power to transform lives, but those most in need of its healing potential and support networks also face the toughest barriers to entry – poverty, violence, legacies of injustice and discrimination. In South Africa and neighbouring Mozambique, the community-based mentorship program Surfers Not Street Children has been helping children overcome these barriers for over 20 years.

To celebrate the continuation of its decade-long partnership with SNSC, O’Neill has released a special collection of clothing, along with a new short film, which you can watch above. The bold bands of colour featured in the collection are inspired by SNSC’s headquarters, in particular by the iconic design of its corrugated metal door. This door was painted by the children of the program themselves, under the direction of Mook Lion, a Durban artist and supporter of the SNSC.

Keep an eye out for Jordy Smith, another SNSC ambassador, on the world tour this year. He’ll be repping the boardshorts in competition, and will have plenty of opportunity – the big South African looks set to make the mid-year cut after Margaret River with plenty of breathing room.

Since its inception in Durban in 1998, Surfers Not Street Children has focussed on getting community leaders the resources they need to provide effective intervention and mentorship for street children. These are kids who live in extreme poverty and generally have few opportunities to escape it. By helping them find stability on land and joy in the water, local SNSC mentors have empowered countless vulnerable children, who have gone on to become baristas, lifesavers, surf shop staff, restauranteurs, surf coaches, and even pro surfers – as well as becoming mentors in their own right.

It’s the best sort of virtuous cycle. We’ve admired SNSC’s work for years, and are stoked to have this new collection in the store.