Sunshine, Sand, Surf!

School’s out for the season. The kids are on their holiday. And with more free time to surf, that is exactly what the boys have chosen to do.

After two short stops on the train ride from their home in Steenberg, the boys arrive in the morning to MBC, suit up, and spend their days and hours out at the beach. At times the boys will remember they haven’t yet had their lunch, but just as easily they’ll forget their stomach’s grumbling as the ocean calls them back into the surf.

Catching waves with the boys has been a blast! Here I am the volunteer and it’s them who have been so helpful with teaching me. They genuinely wanted to see me learn during my month here. Many times Frankie and Abel would stay nearby in the ocean and call out for me which waves I should catch. They’d yell out, “Turn your board around now! Paddle! Start paddling! Keep paddling!” Before I knew it, I was picking out my own waves and standing up more times than I could count. It’s so great to see their love for surfing and their willingness to share it with others, just as it’s been imparted to them.

Last week, taking full advantage of Muizenberg’s beautiful beaches, we organized games and fun competition for the boys, both on the sand and in the water. Frankie won both the foot race and soccer agility match. Temba came in a near second. And when it came to the surfing, everyone knew Asi would take the win. Abel, deserving a notable mention, still surfed with an injured foot. Tough boy! I had to tell him to sit it out until he knew exactly what was wrong and he finally conceded. It’s so obvious for many of these boys that being in the ocean is irresistible. Even with swollen foot, Abel admitted, “Surfing’s a part of my life. I want to be out there!”

Now as we head into the holidays, I’m bummed to say that only a few days remain before I head back home and my time at MBC comes to a close. I am so looking forward to spending this Christmas with the kids before I leave, meeting their families, and trying some local homemade South African dishes. I cannot believe how quickly this month flew by. Spending time with the boys has certainly been an honor and privilege. Each day getting to know these boys has been such a treasure, and they truly have become like my little brothers! I cannot say it enough, “Go MBC!”

beach games


Wavescape Surf Film Festival

Saturday afternoon we loaded up in Ant’s bakkie and headed with the boys to Camp’s Bay for a swim and movie night on the beach. It was a first for me and so much fun riding in the back of a truck on a main highway and then at the beach digging to form sunken sand sofas to relax and enjoy the open air cinema that is part of the annual Wavescape Surf Film Festival. On Clifton 4th Beach, after finding our place up front near the big screen and once nestled cozy in our newly dug-out sand chairs, with packed sandwiches and fruit in hand (thanks to Shani!), the boys sat back and relaxed, eyes fixed on the pro surfers in the films who go and travel the world  giving their lives to chasing waves. Film after film,  you could see how the boys found inspiration to dream big and chase their passions. And by the end, despite it being late into the night, Asi and Toufie just wanted to jump in the water and surf.
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But soon after the last short film, the crowd cleared up, and we, too, packed our things to get back home. Then came my personal favorite part of the weekend, just sitting in the back of the bakkie with the boys. As the wind out picked up, we tried to keep warm with only one blanket to go around. The ride home was entertaining to say the least. I learned Temba is great at storytelling and has quite the imagination. Whymph will bust out into song with lyrics he’ll come up with on the spot. Asi and Abel I found out share my love for sardines. Phila remains adamant on his views of pumpkin pie (I still have 2 weeks to convince him). And the rest of the ride just felt like I was hanging out with my little brothers! When we dropped off the boys at their home in Steenburg, they were keen to point out to me the nearby corner shop that serves Gatsby. It’s apparently a local favorite dish and a must try while in South Africa. It’s going to happen!!

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Besides all I learned from the boys riding in the bakkie Saturday, a sweet highlight from my second week here and something that became very apparent to me was the huge heart of the man behind MBC. In these 5 years, Ant Scholte has done much more for these boys than simply introducing them to a love for surfing. He invests his heart and his time for them. He provides an outlet for these boys, where they can come feel safe, unthreatened, and carefree–just as kids should be. I see it so clearly. I see it when he gives of his weekends to rest and instead chooses to spend it with the boys. I see it when he stays back to carry their bags, boogie boards, and wetsuits when they forget. He instills values by example, tells them the hard things, and encourages them to pursue the important things. The sacrifice this man makes for these boys is humbling and inspiring! And as the boys would say, “GO MBC!!”

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Words of wisdom: Paddle DEEP!

It’s been a great first week with the MBC boys! After the first couple days of my asking them multiple times, I’ve got each of their names and faces down.
We had three newcomers yesterday: Sumpiwe, Kanya, and Mpo. The clubs’ more experienced members, Asi and Siya, took on the role of showing them the ropes, and they did so well. I’d stayed back on the beach and it was sweet just chatting with the boys as they took their breaks at random points in the day.
You really get to see the different interactions and personalities. There’s Frankie and Siya who are close buds, yesterday joking and having fun in the sand as we talked about how Frankie would celebrate his 16th birthday. Then there’s Asi–you couldn’t get him out of the water as he kept up with the big boys in the back. Abel is wise beyond his years and so patient. At one point I found myself sitting in the middle of a friendly sandfight when Abel took a hit and all I saw was his huge smile as he laughed it off. ​
My first surf lessons this week came from Phila, previously an MBC member (soon to be college student!!). He’s an excellent instructor and within an hour of the first day I was standing up riding some waves. When sensing my nervousness heading into the rows of white water, he gets a good laugh and reassures that we’ll get past them. So, I press on. Paddling forward through wave after wave, sometimes I won’t see Phila, but from somewhere I’ll hear his voice calling out words of encouragement to keep me going. It works!
Today after what seemed like an impossible feat, before I knew it, I was in the backline! Finally there on the flat waters, Phila and I sat on our boards for a bit, gave our arms a rest after all the paddling, enjoyed the calm new environment and absence of white water, and then after some practice learning to sit on the board, he said, “Ready to ride a wave? Let’s do it!”
Phila picked out a wave, gave me quick last second reminders of everything to keep in mind, and then I was off on the nicest ride back to shore. I felt at that moment I could say I came, I conquered, and accomplished what I wanted coming to South Africa. There is something that makes you feel alive when you’re able to overcome even a piece of that powerful ocean. But in truth, there is so much more than catching a wave that I came here to South Africa for. I came for these amazing kids. . . in the water or not. (But yes, more in the water!)

Why You Should Be a Volunteer at MBC

1)  South Africa

Such a nice country! During your stay here you’ll have the possibility to do a lot of things! Muizenberg and Cape Town are both wonderful places to visit and there are loads of really cool activities to do! And you’ll have all your weekends free!! Thus, hiking, sea experiences (shark diving, seal boat trips, viewing penguins, fishing), wine degustation, rugby games, safaris and even more are waiting for you! If you like parties, Cape Town offers many possibilities.


Furthermore wherever you go here you’ll always discover new things to do! New views! Different peoples! Indeed, South Africa is a multicultural country and you can meet peoples who come from all around the world! Black and white together! And learn a lot about what is real life!!!

2) Muizenberg

You’ll stay in Muizenberg, which is a really nice place that’s well known for its surfing beach!!! Enjoy the perfect waves and live in a wonderful house where you’ll enjoy the chilled atmosphere and the amazing view of the ocean! Ant (MBC president and the volunteer house’s owner) is such a nice guy! He’ll teach you a lot about South African culture! Mainly on the evening in his living room accompanied with his guitar and nice music, like “Sugar Man”.  You’ll share your room with peoples who are here for the same reasons as you so everything should go really well! I am really happy to chat with them and learn about their countries, their cultures and their lives.montage 2

In Muizenberg, there is a tradition. Each week you’ll enjoy the Bluebird Food and Goods Market, which is the place to be on Fridays! With a wide selection of delicious and different food and alcohol! Surf instructors, volunteers and many other people will be there!

For the rest of the week it’s easy to travel about locally thanks to the train or taxi drivers (really cheap and nice drivers who take care of you). Kalk Bay is only 5 minutes away from Muizenberg and there you can find really cool bars and restaurants like Cape to Cuba!!! You’ll probably also go to Brass Bell, where lots of volunteers and locals take up residence on Wednesday nights to have a go at karaoke! You can have a great party here!

3) Mission

If you like sport, this is the project you must choose! Every morning you’ll enjoy great waves in a wonderful place! For me it was my first surfing experience! And after 2 weeks’ training I caught my first real wave!! It was an extraordinary sensation! I could turn on the wave and feel the speed coming! When I finally fell down off the board, I was like a child – I couldn’t stop smiling! Such a nice experience! Time flies in the water! And even on days when the waves aren’t so good, the ocean as far as you can see is perfect for getting you to empty your mind and think about life!

Three days a week with the kids you’ll play soccer, go hiking and surf!! These kids come from a township and they grow up in a dangerous place where gangsters are present and try to make them cross the line. These kids are amazing! Indeed they are always smiling and love speaking with you and learning about your life. They’ll give you so much!! Time goes really fast with them and you can’t be bored!! During sport activities they like to be with you! And they love jokes! At the beginning it will be difficult to remember all their names but you’ll use some tips to remember them! Cause they all have their own charisma and particularities! For example Themba! You can’t miss him – he will always try to make jokes and play with you!

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Twice a week in the afternoons you’ll stay at the office, which is a really pleasant place! You’ll share ideas with others volunteers and try to develop MBC (posting blogs, marketing, communication). You’ll have a blank canvas for developing the project and its workers are always ready to listen to you and help you. All the work you’ll provide will be indirectly necessary for the kids because the more people know about MBC, the more the organisation will benefit. It’s such a good motivation to know you can help them!

Thanks to this experience you’ll change your way of thinking. You’ll learn about real life, share wonderful moments, meet amazing kids and peoples. “Kindness” will be my word if I have to describe South African peoples in one word. This kind of experience will make you understand how lucky you really are.

Don’t think any more!! Go to MBC and enjoy the best experience of your life!


Nico (volunteer from France)


A Day at the Caves

If there’s one thing to do when you come to South Africa it would definitely be to hike! Take full advantage of the abundance of mountainous regions and breathtaking views this country has to offer. Table Mountain is obviously the most well known elevation in South Africa; however, there are countless other hiking opportunities available with views that are just as stunning and equally awe-inspiring.

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This week we took the kids up the Trappieskop trail (which is a part of Table Mountain National Park) to explore some caves! From the start the hike was a very steep one with many boulders to scramble over…talk about an intense leg day…but truthfully the path was one that a beginner hiker could easily conquer. The boys were eager to get to the caves and basically sprinted the entire 45 minutes up. The only time we took a rest was when Frankie found a cockroach and thought it would be fun to give us a little scare by picking it up with his stick!

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When we got to the first set of caves, the boys were so excited to start exploring…but our new volunteer leader, Ryan, insisted we keep moving because there were bigger and better cave formations not far away! Once we got to the right set of caves it was a scramble to take out candles and torches and go exploring. The boys had a blast trying to scare one another by blowing their candles out and went deep into the caves, they even used the wax to mark their names on the stone to prove that they had been exploring there. Hiking with the boys is hard work but so much fun we cannot wait to explore new territory with them!!

The Kids Conquering the Cave

The Kids Conquering the Cave

-Alisha and Pria (Canada)

Movie Night with MBC

MBC’s motto is “Respect for nature, self and others”, one of the ways MBC promotes the expression of these characteristics among the boys is with the Star Chart program. The Star Chart allows the volunteers to award a star to each child who attends MBC activities and displays good sportsmanship; cooperation; effort; teamwork, and in general, good behaviour. Stars can be taken away for behaviours such as fighting, swearing and poor attitudes.

This past Friday we had the opportunity to take 4 of the kids who achieved the most stars to the cinema to watch the latest installment of The Amazing Spider-Man!! Phila, Themba, Siya, and Frankie were the boys who displayed the most consistent behaviour and had earned the most stars this past month. We picked the boys up at 8:30 and could tell they were excited and ready to go, wearing “special” clothes, accessorized with bright smiles! Phila was decked out in his fresh digs and stylish hat, adorned with a newly pierced ear!! (We soon found out it was only magnetic)

Themba, Siya, Frankie and Phila!

Themba, Siya, Frankie and Phila!

Just from observing the kids the moment they got into the van to when we finally took our seats at the theatre, we could tell how happy they were to be out on a Friday night watching a movie with Ant, Maddy, and all of the volunteers of MBC. We all had a really fun night and it was a well deserved treat for the boys and all they’ve accomplished over the past few weeks!



-Pria and Alisha (Canada)

First Impressions: Muizenberg and Meeting the MBC Boys!

This is my first time in South Africa and the first lesson I have learned is to not let anyone’s opinions deter you from travelling to this beautiful country. Muizenberg is the epitome of a beach town; the views of the ocean and mountains are fantastic and the people are chill and friendly. My first week here has already flown by far too quickly…Each day I’m beyond excited to surf and meet the boys for their Muizenberg Beach Club activities. The boys have such amazing spirits and seeing them laugh and play gives me hope that the MBC is truly making a positive impact on their lives. It is such an inspiring feeling to know that you have the potential to change someone’s life for the better and helping to keep at-risk youth away from gangs, violence and trouble is truly rewarding, just being around the boys is so much fun, their laughter is contagious and each day is something new. I am so excited to be spending my time here with MBC, I cannot wait to have more adventures and spend more time getting to know the kids.

A misty mountain top view of Muizenberg!

A misty mountain top view of Muizenberg!

-Pria (Canada)

First day at MBC!!!

Hello! We are Nico from France and Jasper from the Netherlands. Nico studies Marketing and Communication at the ISC in Paris and is here to volunteer for 2 months. Jasper studies International Marketing Management in Utrecht and is here to do his month internship. We are both really looking forward to our time here.

On Tuesday it was our first day at the office. We started the day with a surfing lesson with Alfonso! He is a really good coach, such a nice guy and he made our first surfing experience in South Africa really enjoyable! The waves were perfect for learning to surf and both the weather and the wonderful view looked like paradise! We had a really good time and it’s just the beginning!!!

During our surf lesson we met another volunteer, Ailsa. She is really aware of and involved in MBC projects and it was really cool for us to speak with her. She took time to answer our questions about the kids and the project. The more she spoke, the more excited we were to meet the kids!!

Ailsa and Jasper

Ailsa and Jasper

Nick, who was the kids’ surf coach 2 years ago, happened to be visiting Muizenberg from England. He decided to stop by and come with us to pick up the children. When they saw the bus coming they were really happy to see us! They jumped on the bus and started their show!! They are so funny!! To see the huge smiles on their faces for the first time was really special!! Everybody should live such a moment one time in their life! It took a couple of minutes for the kids to recognize Nick since he had cut off the dreads that he used to have, but eventually they did. They were really happy to see him again! Phila kept saying, ‘This is so awesome, man. This is so awesome.’

For me (Jasper) personally the bus ride was a funny experience. After the question ‘Am I a girl?’, an interrogation started about why I had long hair if I wasn’t a girl! The interrogation ended with 5 kids pulling my blond hair.

There is a rule on the bus which says that the kids must speak English at all times so that everyone can understand each other. When one of the kids screamed something in Afrikaans Ailsa wanted to know what they meant. Because Afrikaans and Dutch are so similar, I (Jasper) was able to tell her. The kids were stunned – how did I know? After enjoying their stunned faces I told them that Afrikaans is derived primarily from Dutch. The kids didn’t believe me so they asked what my name is in Afrikaans – when I could answer them, they were even more surprised!

I (Jasper) had only learned how to surf that morning so I was hesitating whether or not to join the kids in the sea. I had been told by Ailsa that they always like it if volunteers join them in the sea, so in I went! Despite the fact that the weather wasn’t that great, Siya, Phila, Yamkela, Frankie, Asi and I went into the sea. The kids are actually quite good at surfing. And just by looking at their faces you can see that they also really enjoy it!



Surfing was the plan for the afternoon but I (Nico) caught a stupid cold during my journey to South Africa so I decided to stay on the beach with Ailsa,Yanga, Siminkiwe, Godfrey and Mike. When I asked Mike why he didn’t want to surf, he answered me, ‘I am a soccer player, man!’ It was so funny and I was glad to hear that! I planned to take pictures during the afternoon but the kids were really excited by the fact that I liked soccer so we started to play on the beach and it might sound weird but it was maybe one of the most wonderful days of my life! Playing soccer on the beach with the kids smiling was really cool!! I will never forget this day!

Yanga, Siminkiwe, Mike, Godefrey and Ailsa

Yanga, Siminkiwe, Mike, Godefrey and Ailsa


By Jasper, volunteer from Holland, and Nico, volunteer from France

Tidal Pools

Every fortnight new volunteers arrive, at the ready to help MBC. This week we welcomed two new volunteers and therefore decided to try a new activity. Along the beautiful Muizenberg-St. James coastal walk are tidal pools by the ocean, so we grabbed some wetsuits and went for a swim, snorkels in hand. After a tentative entry into very cold water, everyone was splashing about and trying to master the art of using a snorkel without breathing in half of the tide.
Eventually it became too cold and Wayden proceeded to teach us how to ‘skip stones’ by the pool edge. This is sg I’d never tried and managed to fail at miserably. It goes to show that it is not just the kids that are learning at MBC – we all learn and help each other.

- Dan Hughes, Worcester, GBIMG_5403

The Meaning of Marriage – Joke of the Week by Philasande

In marriage, you have three rings.

The first ring is your engagement ring.

The second ring is your your wedding ring.

And the third ring, is suffering.