In 2007 the Skateistan project began in the streets of Kabul, introducing skateboarding to girls and boys in Afghanistan for the first time. Since then, Skateistan has offered skateboarding lessons paired with educational programs to thousands of Afghan children. On May 23, Skateistan will open the doors of its second facility in Afghanistan, giving up to 1000 children in Mazar-e-Sharif the chance to play and learn in a state-of-the-art sport and education facility, nearly three times the size of Skateistan Kabul.
Skateboarding provides a valuable platform of expression, creativity and self-development for young men and women of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Using skateboarding as a tool for youth development, young people are able to have fun and engage positively with one another.
Skateistan runs skateboard lessons for girls and boys five days a week, with skate instructors and student volunteers leading the instruction of students.
The students here at Skateistan have just created the first skateboards ever made in Afghanistan. They were designed, created, and painted by young Afghan skateboarders! The ten skateboards were the result of our recent cultural exchange program known as Connecting Dots.
The Connecting Dots project linked the young Lakota (Native American) skateboarders from the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota with the Skateistan students in Kabul. Throughout the exchange, the groups – separated by continents and oceans – exchanged key aspects of their national heritage.
On Thursday October 11th 2012 the first ever TEDx event was organised in Kabul, Afghanistan. The day long event, hosted by the French Cultural Center, included speakers from a large range of social, cultural and entrepreneurial projects across the country.
During the morning and lunchtime breaks Skateistan was invited to give a skateboarding demonstration. Ten of our students and skateboard instructors came along to showcase their skills.
For over a year, Skateistan Cambodia has held mobile sessions in Phnom Penh, travelling around the city to skate with our partner NGOs or in public areas. We have been working towards opening a space of our own where we can include more children and provide a higher quality of programming for some time now. We have finally done it, and our new facility is officially open!