HaGal Sheli (meaning- “My Wave” in Hebrew) is a non-profit organisation in Israel, which uses surfing as an educational tool.
The program provides at-risk-youth the chance to ‘ride the wave’ and create meaningful and successful lives. HaGal Sheli offers various programs for teenagers between the ages of 13-18. Surfing is used as a means to reintegrate teenagers who have drifted off course into absenteeism from school and have come to the attention of social workers or the criminal justice system. It is a condition of the program that all participants must attend school. Young adults are encouraged to develop life skills, by learning to cope with the forces of the sea.
The HaGal Sheli centre serves as a second home for these young adults. The program aims to cultivate a sense of belonging and provide a positive group of peers for them to identify with.
3000 Israeli teenagers have successfully completed the program in the last 5 years and 95% of the participants have graduated from high school.