Cause Index

Dream Higher

Dream Higher is a registered non-profit organisation operating in Cape Town, South Africa.

Cape Town is world renowned as a rock climbing destination with crags like Rocklands and Table Mountain attracting thousands of climbers from around the world every year.

Cape Town is also one of the world's most divided cities; exceptionally high levels of inequality, widespread poverty, and with some of the highest rates of violent crime in the world, the natural beauty for which this city is so famous remains inaccessible for many of its residents.

Since our foundation in 2017, our mission has been to offer sustained climbing opportunities to local youth (ages 8-21) who have navigated tumultuous childhoods that involved regular exposure to distressing events. The instability of their past and the chronic stress they have experienced often results in the presence of trauma, a psychological response to overwhelming experiences of stress. We have found however that climbing can help to heal these wounds.

Each month we run multiple coached training sessions at indoor climbing gyms alongside regularly climbing outdoors at local crags and bouldering areas. Our most committed participants are rewarded with annual gym memberships, therefore allowing them to become independent climbers, and upskilled as coaches if they express an interest. The gym becomes a safe space where our participants develop confidence, learn to control their emotions and to build healthy relationships. This set of skills developed through the practice of climbing can be applied to the daily challenges faced by our youth.
We also participate in adventures where our beneficiaries discover their surrounding mountains, reconnect with their natural world and learn to respect it.

We believe that, in addition to assisting youth to overcome past trauma, our work promotes inclusivity in the local climbing community, reduces gender discrimination, and builds bridges between social groups in a divided society.