WHO WE ARE:
We believe that every single one of these young men has a purpose for his life and that they CAN change. Often they just need hope to see that a better future is theirs if they truly want it! Many have never known a different way to life than what they have been born into and seen growing up. The vision of Live for More is to see these young men find freedom from their pasts so they can have hope for their future and live fulfilling lives. We use surfing as an effective clinical tool to engage them, build healthy relationships and provide 1-1 clinical support and counselling.
HOW IT CAME ABOUT:
I have long had a vision to use surfing as a way of helping people. I remember thinking about this when I was a teenager in California and had started to surf myself. The positive effect it had in my life and just the pure joy and stoke I experienced surfing was so powerful that I knew in my spirit this could be used for so much more. Fast forward to 2012 after I had studied psychology at UCSB and moved to New Zealand! This dream had still been brewing in the background for a while but I was able to birth it running a pilot programme called “Stoked tai ora” when working at Get Smart. I wanted to get outside of the four walls of an office and experience life with the young people I was working with; sometimes you can only do so much sitting in a room and talking (for counselling) and I knew there were more efficient ways to reach these troubled young men. My then-bosses were supportive of my “outside the box” thinking and told me to give it a go (thank God!). The results and positive impact of taking these challenging young men surfing was undeniable and I knew this idea of surf therapy was powerful and right. After multiple successful programmes and positive feedback from the young people about all surfing had done for them, I took a leap of faith and founded an organisation to chase up my dream of surf therapy full-time. Live for More was launched in February 2016 and it has been a wild ride since then! It has been amazing to see it all unfold along the way and I feel very blessed!
Live for More currently has one full-time employee (me!) which makes things very interesting as there is so much to do. Our hope and dream is to secure funding to hire another FTE who could work alongside me and also do more 1-1 work with the young men. We also have a few contracted staff who assist us with running the surf programme and admin. There is also an amazing team of volunteers who come along for the programme and assist with the running. We couldn’t do what we’re doing without them!! There are also guest speakers who come along and share their life stories of transformation with the young guys each week. These men are a core part of what we do as they plant seeds of hope in these young men that change IS possible. Most of our speakers have been in prison before, been addicts, been in gangs, etc. but now live a straight and healthy, free life.
WE HAVE WORKED WITH OVER 40 YOUNG MEN
To paint a picture of the young men Live for More works with:
– 80% have grown up with violence, abuse and/or gangs
– 52% have attempted suicide or been suicidal
– 82% have been brought up around drugs and alcohol
– 1/3 have already spent time in prison or youth prison
– 11 years is the average age they began using drugs/alcohol
– WE HAVE RUN 4 TAI WĀTEA SURF PROGRAMMES AND ARE STARTING OUR 5TH!
– We have had22young men graduate from Tai Wātea. For many this was the first thing they have ever completed.
We really look forward to the day when we have a solid team of staff for Live for More, because this will mean we are reaching even MORE young men who need hope, support and someone to believe in them.
FOR MORE INFO ON LIVE FOR MORE OR TO DONATE