The Isiqalo Foundation was founded as a CBO (community based organisation) in March 2009 by Mthandazo Ndabeni and Phila Dlulane - residents of Masiphumelele Township - and volunteers Tim Conibear and Daniella Wagener.
The initial aim of the organisation was to work through the existing yet informal sporting infrastructure of Masiphumelele, and to address the endemic issues of HIV prevalence, substance abuse, and gender related violence. Using a network of local volunteer coaches, a basic soccer and netball league system was set up and a handful of coaches were trained in educational curriculum through the Cape Town Sport for Development Community. Isiqalo was responsible for raising basic funds to support the purchase of equipment. Volunteers Tim Conibear and Daniella Wagener organised a formative surfing and tutoring programme respectively to further incentivise participants - mostly run over weekends and school holidays.
In 2011, following 2 years of voluntary work within the community, the growing numbers of participants and the successful development of local coaches necessitated a more formal structure. The popularity of the surfing programme had also prompted the research and development of a formal HIV/AIDS and life skills curriculum rooted in surfing, facilitated by Isiqalo´s positioning in the Sport for Development community.
Isiqalo completed registration as a NPO in February 2011 and launched the "Waves for Change" and "Isiqalo Play Makers" programmes in their own right. A core of coaches were recruited and trained through early partnerships with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation (W4C) and Coaching for Hope (Playmakers). Tim Conibear became full time programme director of the Waves for Change programme, with Mthandazo and Phila becoming full time programme directors for Isiqalo Playmakers.
Waves for Change has become a global leader in the field of HIV education through sport. The programme was a winner at the 2011 Beyond Sport Awards and was shortlisted again in 2012. The programme expanded from Masiphumelele in May of 2012 to open its second site at Monwabisi beach, Khayelitsha. Isiqalo Playmakers continues to operate in Masiphumelele and also runs a Women´s empowerment project for girls in Masiphumelele and Ocean View townships.
Today Isiqalo is a hub for the development of community driven sports for development programmes. and offers the appropriate management, administration, training and networking infrastructure to allow grassroot programmes to develop into sustainable projects with a bright future.