KSR - tuk tuk transport

After more than a year of running skate sessions and art classes with partner NGOs and in the backyard of the staff guesthouse, Skateistan Cambodia was excited to open its own co-educational skateboard and learning facility for youth in Phnom Penh in September 2012.

One of Skateistan’s main priorities since Day 1 has been to encourage long-term student participation. To ensure that some of Skateistan Cambodia’s first students are able to continue attending classes at the new skatepark, Skateistan provides transport in a local “Tuk Tuk” taxi for some of its youngest students who were with the program from Day 1. Phnom Penh, like many South-East Asian countries, has overwhelming traffic and a lack of transportation infrastructure, such as a citywide public transport system, making it difficult for pedestrians to travel safely. The girls and boys who take the Tuk Tuk ride began skating in the yard and garage of Skateistan’s guesthouse, and without transport would have no other way of safely traveling to the new park. 

The kids are all smiles after a ride in the Tuk Tuk together to the skatepark, but the fun really begins for Skateistan Cambodia’s students when they get on the boards. A regular day at the new skatepark includes two to three on-site skateboarding sessions each day, accompanied by an equal amount of creative arts or breakdancing classes. There are also some special opportunities for Skateistan students and youth leaders to participate in additional skills workshops, such as practising their musical abilities in Skateistan’s Turning Tables DJ lab.

The Cambodia transport budget also goes towards mobile skate sessions. In the early evenings, Skateistan instructors take a motorcycle, Cambodia's favourite mode of transportation, to our mini skatepark set up at a partner NGO. Here, our staff work with the volunteer skatepark monitors to supervise regular youth skate sessions. With 150 regular students (including 35% girls), and additional sessions with partner NGOs, there is a lot happening at Skateistan Cambodia with no slowing down in sight.

In 2011 36 streetworking children graduated from Skateistan’s Back-to-School program. In 2010, Skateistan sent 29 children “Back-to-School”.

This year, 20 girls and 20 boys from a nearby refugee camp are attending Skateistan five times per week to get the education, support, and supplies they need to enrol or re-enrol into the Afghan public school system. Only 12% of Afghan women are literate (the lowest female literacy rate in the world), so for Skateistan’s female students, this program is especially important. Girls who attend the “Back-to-School” program spend 12 months learning everything they need to know for Grades 1-3, including Dari, Mathematics, and Religious studies. Back-to-School kids also eat lunch together every day at the skatepark, and spend one afternoon in the skatepark each week.

In addition to a female teacher, Skateistan employs a female Student Support Officer to not only help these children enrol in school, but also to follow their individual progress. As the contact point between Skateistan, their families, and their new public schools, Skateistan’s Student Support Officer ensures these girls and boys continue their education for years to come.


Since 2007, Skateistan has opened two skateparks, creating safe spaces for more than 2000 children in Afghanistan and Cambodia to learn and play. Hundreds of youth ages 5-17 come weekly for skateboarding, creative arts workshops, and basic education.

40% of Skateistan’s students are female, and more than 50% are streetworking children.

If you believe that skateboard-based education can create positive change, show your support this holiday season by participating in our “Keep Skateistan Rolling” fundraising drive from Dec. 3rd to 9th.

To give you an idea of how your holiday donations can impact the lives of Skateistan students we are releasing a series of daily video stories throughout the week, focusing especially on the amazing skater girls we work with. These video stories will give you a glimpse into daily life at Skateistan, and demonstrate how your contributions to Skateistan positively influence the lives of young girls and boys in Afghanistan and Cambodia.

Every donation, no matter how small, helps keep Skateistan students rolling towards new opportunities and personal empowerment.

  • Donations over $10 will receive an e-card
  • Donations over $20 will be entered into a draw to win 1 of 10 limited edition Skateistan prints

Note: Donors must provide a valid e-mail address to receive e-card. Prize photos will be 8”x12” or 8”x10” and only donors in North America, EU, UK are eligible.