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By Jake Howard

A couple years ago, Siyanda Hewitt was planning a trip to California, but then the world was turned upside down, and he was stuck in England for most of the pandemic.

Undaunted, Siyanda this week turned his vision to reality, as he touched down in San Clemente for the first time. Accompanied by his father, Tom, who runs the organization Surfers Not Street Children, the two are here to surf and enjoy the wide array of opportunities up and down the West Coast.

Surfers Not Street Children is a nonprofit organization based in Durban, South Africa, which endeavors to use surfing as a means to get down-and-out, otherwise-forgotten kids off the streets and into social programs, school and the water.

Siyanda Hewitt. Photo: Courtesy of the Hewitt Family

Alongside his dad, 15-year-old Siyanda has dedicated himself to making the world fairer and more equitable for those not blessed with an abundance of opportunity.

Not only is his heart in the right place, but Siyanda is a ripping goofy-footer. Over the past couple years, he spent a good portion of his time in England, where his dad is originally from, as well as back home in Durban.

Tough as nails, he’s all good with the cold, challenging UK conditions—but doesn’t mind the warm water of New Pier, Durban, either.

Over the next week, Siyanda and Tom will be kicking around the area, surfing and enjoying Trestles and Salt Creek. If you see them in the water, say hello, share a wave and make them feel at home. More than most, they understand the positive powers of surfing.

If you have a candidate for Grom of the Week, we want to know. Send an email to jakehoward1@gmail.com.

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