Skateistan NGO organization. International development initiative to combine skateboarding with educational outcomes.

Skateistan began as a grassroots ‘Sport for Development’ project on the streets of Kabul in 2007, and is now an award-winning, international NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) with projects in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa. Skateistan is the first international development initiative to combine skateboarding with educational outcomes. Skateistan is non-political, independent, and inclusive of all ethnicities, religions and social backgrounds.

Skateistan aims to always be an innovative social project with quality.

  • We work with youth ages 5-18
  • Over 50% of our students are streetworking children
  • Over 40% of our students are girls
  • Globally, we teach more than 1200 youth each week

MISSION STATEMENT

We use skateboarding as a tool for empowering youth, to create new opportunities and the potential for change.

VISION

To grow a sustainable organization that is recognized locally & globally for changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of youth through skateboarding and quality programmes – creating leaders that change the world.

​VALUES

quality. ownership. creativity. trust. respect. equality.

WHAT WE DO:

  • provide access to education
  • focus especially on girls and working children
  • develop leadership opportunities
  • build friendship, trust, and social capital

SKATEBOARDING IN AFGHANISTAN?

Absolutely. As soon as Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich dropped his board in Kabul in 2007, he was surrounded by the eager faces of children of all ages who wanted to be shown how to skate. Stretching out the three boards he and a former girlfriend/aidworker had brought with them, “Ollie” began dedicating himself to the creation of a small non-profit skate school in Afghanistan.

A group of Afghan friends (aged 18-22) who were naturals at skateboarding shared the three boards and quickly progressed in their new favourite sport—and so skateboarding hit Afghanistan. The success with the first students prompted Ollie to think bigger: by bringing more boards back to Kabul and establishing an indoor skateboarding venue, the program would be able to teach many more youth, and also be able to provide older girls with a private facility to continue skateboarding.

On October 29, 2009, Skateistan completed construction of an all-inclusive skatepark and educational facility on 5428 square meters of land donated by the Afghan National Olympic Committee. The indoor skatepark was graciously built by IOU Ramps.

Skateistan has emerged as Afghanistan’s first skateboarding school, and is dedicated to teaching both male and female students. The non-profit skateboarding charity has constructed the two largest indoor sport facilities in Afghanistan, and hosts the largest female sporting organization (composed of female skateboarders). Skateistan believes that when youth come together to skateboard and play, they forge bonds that transcend social barriers. Furthermore, through creative education classes the youth are enabled to explore issues that are important to them.

BEYOND SKATEBOARDING

Skateboarding is simply “the hook” for engaging with hard-to-reach young people (ages 5-18). Skateistan’s development aid programs work with growing numbers of marginalized youth through skateboarding, and provide them with new opportunities in cross-cultural interaction, education, and personal empowerment programs. Skateistan has expanded itsskateboard-based development activities to include full-time programming for Cambodian youth in Phnom Penh, a state-of-the-art learning/skateboarding centre in Mazar-e-Sharif, Northern Afghanistan, and a project for youth in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In Kabul, Skateistan’s participants come from all of Afghanistan’s diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, and include 40% female students, hundreds of streetworking children, and youth with disabilities. In our skatepark and classrooms they develop skills in skateboarding, leadership, civic responsibility, multimedia, and creative arts, exploring topics such as environmental health, culture/traditions, natural resources, and peace.  The students themselves decide what they want to learn – we connect them with a safe space and opportunities for them to develop the skills that they consider important.
Since Skateistan began in 2007 we’ve found that youth of all ethnicities, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds love to skateboard. Skateistan brings them together, equipping young men and women to lead their communities toward social change and development.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Website: http://skateistan.org/

 

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