“Here we are in Durban, South Africa, and today we went to with a Christian surf group,” said Hōkūleʻa crewmember Archie Kalepa.
“Christian Surfers is an international organization who really love the water and surfing, and our group of surfers that we went to work with are mainly street children from the Durban streets who mostly come from broken homes,” said Nicolene Chapman, a volunteer with Christian Surfers Durban.
“There is a lot that the ocean has to offer, and just the fact that Christian Surfers is taking the time to help these kids and give them an outlet, it was amazing to see,” said Archie.
“Many of them do come from broken homes, many of them either from divorced homes or abused homes, or a lot of them no homes. And most of them love water, and just donʻt have access to their own equipment. So this gives them a chance to surf and show off their skills with someone to cheer them on,” said Nicolene.
“They were so rich in happiness that just that one little moment that they have together on that beach or surfing on the water, they were 100% joyful. It was an amazing experience,” said Archie.
“We were just grateful that the Hōkūleʻa and the crew took the time to meet the kids and learn about the message that the Hōkuleʻa carries of conservation, caring for the oceans, and courage and bravery. The way the Hōkūleʻa travels and sails by the stars and winds, thereʻs no advanced technology, thereʻs no advanced equipment. A lot of these kids don’t have advanced anything. They don’t even have a surfboard. And the Hōkūleʻa can do it with a small crew, with little resources, then the kids can do it too. Itʻs a lot of combined messages for them all in one go. The kids totally engaged, and it was an amazing day and amazing opportunity. They were so engaged, and Archie gave the most wonderful message about how the kids just need to reach for their dreams, and if they love the water, the water can offer that to them,” said Nicolene.
“The ocean is an outlet for them. I think itʻs an opportunity for them to really feel free, and it was amazing to see,” said Archie.