We love the idea of bringing together kiting communities from across South Africa and beyond, kiting together, attempting to break a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title together AND putting on a unique kitesurfing event in one of the most iconic kitesurfing spots on the planet! But even more than this, the main reason we organise Virgin Kitesurfing Armada events is to raise funds for some fantastic local and international causes. That is why we founded the Armada Trust which channels 100% of funds raised at all Armada events directly to the chosen charities.
At the forthcoming Virgin Kitesurfing Armada South Africa, all funds raised will be supporting 3 fantastic charities: In Cape Town, we will be supporting the work of innovative local Community Development Programme the Save Foundation. Internationally we will be supporting Virgin Unite‘s work with entrepreneurs in developing countries and in the UK we will be supporting youth charity Snow-Camp‘s work with disadvantaged inner city young people. (The UK charity that had the idea for the first ever Kitesurfing Armada back in 2013!)
Kitesurfers participating in the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada events have previously raised over £150,000 for charity collectively through their donations and Virgin Giving pages. Some individuals raised thousands and we are always amazed at the way people get behind these events and their fundraising goals. We hope VKSA South Africa will also be a huge success for our charities, and we want to tell you a little more about them, and the programmes you will be supporting this year.
We want to use the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada in Cape Town to make a really positive and long term difference locally. That is why we have chosen to work with the SAVE Foundation and support their uplifting and life changing programmes working with children and young people in communities in and around Cape Town.
SAVE is an established and award winning local organisation, with over 8 years experience delivering programmes to support local communities in need. Their Founder, Carla Ferreira, is hugely passionate about the work and has achieved great success with a range of community development projects – especially using sport to engage, support and uplift children and young people.
We went to meet Carla and her team during a recent visit to Cape Town and spent a great day visiting many of the projects. She has also been working closely with SAKA to develop a specific project that we are really excited about supporting through the Armada.
SAVE have been running a Surf and Adventure Club for children from the townships since 2008. The Adventure Club has a number of components – teaching the children to swim is key at the outset – as the vast majority cannot swim at all – before the children graduate to the Surf Club and experience the thrill of catching their first waves on Cape Towns fantastic beaches. The goal is to work with children who would never otherwise have these opportunities, get them really engaged in sports – build their confidence, even see them compete – and so far the Club has had some real successes. SAVE have also piloted a skateboarding programme, and kitesurfing programmes have also periodically been part of the project over recent years with support from BEST Kiteboarding locally and donations of kit from kitesurfers.
However, the Adventure Programme is difficult to sustain for SAVE as it relies heavily on funds raised by their international volunteers. Through the Kitesurfing Armada we want to try to support:
- A full time staff post for someone passionate about children and sports to drive forward the Swim, Surf, Skate and Kite Adventure projects to better support children from the Townships. This person would be responsible for pulling together local support for these fantastic projects and ensuring a regular programme of activities and structured opportunities are in place for a greater number of Cape Town children. They would also work closely with SAKA, the local kite schools and shops and the wider kitesurfing community to create further opportunities for children beyond the programme.
- Running costs for the programme including petrol and vehicle costs for getting children back and forth from the Townships to the beach, bibs and rashies, lunch for the kids each day and some equipment where we cant get it donated!
We feel lucky to be able to kite, and we want to use the opportunity of the Armada to help others too – if you are a participant and would like to set up a fundraising page to help support our charities further, we would love your support! Thank you! It is very easy to do – just follow the link here.
If you are not participating in the event but would like to support our fundraising efforts for our partner charities, you can make an online donation at Virgin Money Giving. Every donation makes a difference, so whatever you can give, thank you – we are very grateful for your support.
Virgin Unite is the entrepreneurial foundation of the Virgin Group. They unite people and entrepreneurial ideas to create opportunities for a better world by:
- Shining a spotlight on unacceptable issues and great entrepreneurial approaches. Using the strength of the Branson family and the brand’s convening power, we leverage our 53m customers, 20m social media followers, and 65,000 Virgin staff, to raise awareness of and take action around important issues.
- Creating disruptive collaborations. We bring together the best people and organisations from all sectors to change business for good, protect the planet (and beyond!) and create better global governance.
- Empowering entrepreneurs to change business for good. We help them get the skills, support and funding access they need to succeed, while showing how to put people and planet alongside profit at the heart of their business.
Check out there work here!
Snow-Camp is an innovative UK youth charity that uses a unique combination of skiing, snowboarding and life-skills programmes to support inner-city young people. Through the combination of snowsports and life-skills, their programmes enable young people to grow in confidence and self esteem, develop as individuals and make positive choices for their lives.
Snow-Camp programmes also enable young people to reflect on the key issues impacting their day to day lives, and help them develop new skills and qualifications to support their futures – particularly towards apprenticeships, employment and careers in the snowsport industry.
Snow-Camp has grown steadily from 2003 and now works with at least 600 young people each year across London, Glasgow and most recently Bristol. Our vision is to expand Snow-Camp to other cities across the UK and bring the success of our approach to benefit many more inner-city young people
Check out their work here!