Nigel Brian Savel

2018 Fellow from South Africa

Nigel Savel is a dynamic mentor, motivational speaker, and community activist who pursued his passion for creating a safer community for at-risk youth in South Africa by founding the 9Miles Project, a registered non-profit organization, which provides mentorship and support to impoverished youth in the coastal informal settlements of South Africa. Motivated by his love for surfing and the pivotal role that the discipline of this sport played in transforming his life, Nigel, along with his wife, started the project with the vision of improving their crime and drug-scourged community. He recognized that the children growing up in the surrounding informal settlements were living with gangsters and drug dealers as role models and that there were very few organized activities to motivate and mold young impressionable minds. Surfing was used as a catalyst to entice students to the project and to teach them discipline, determination, and life skills. The project has, in less than five years, grown into a holistic program which offers surfing and water safety lessons, supplementary academic support, life skills and leadership training, health assessments, feeding programs, educational trips, community events, and day-to-day support for 80 children, their families, and extended communities. It has also expanded from Strandfontein in Cape Town, to Elands Bay on the West Coast and St Francis Bay on the East Coast. Nigel was the Grand Prize Winner of the Elizabeth Arden Make a Visible Difference Award in 2015 and one of ten recipients of the City of Cape Town's Civic Award in 2017. The 9Miles Project was also one of three nominees in the Recreation Body of the Year category at the South African Sports Awards in 2017. An accomplished events and marketing professional, with over five years' experience in youth development, Nigel has created a small operational team and has since transitioned to business development and relationship management to create a sustainable organization that will continue to impact impoverished youth. In addition, he serves on the City of Cape Town's Ward Youth Committee to shape youth policy and best serve the interests of the community and ward.

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