Safe to Dream: This is Hashmat

For many of our students, day-to-day life can feel uncertain, even insecure. We provide a safe place from the outside world where they can feel free to skate, learn, play and dream. We’re aiming to raise $200,000 by the end of December so we can continue to provide children with places where they are free from fear. 

Hashmat was interviewed by Romal and Zahra. His name has been changed in accordance with Skateistan's Child Protection Policy. 

Hashmat is 13 years old and lives in Kabul. He has been coming to Skateistan since 2017. First he participated in the Back-to school program, an accelerated learning program for children who are out of school. Once he had graduated from Back-to-School, he enrolled in public school, but he kept coming to Skateistan and now attends the Skate and Create program. Hashmat lives with his five siblings and his parents. Neither of his parents have steady jobs and money is always tight. 

Hashmat’s father doesn’t have a steady job and for the family, living expenses are always the first priority. There is no money left for toys or to enable the children to take part in sports. It can sometimes be a scary life as the family doesn’t know where they money will come from.

Hashmat (in red) in the classroom at Skateistan
“Before I came to Skateistan, I was at home all day, literally doing nothing. Sometimes I went out and played with boys on the street, we had made a ball made with waste plastics to play football. I didn’t go to school and I didn’t have any idea about education and real sports. Before, I liked to play football, but now I have different goals. I want to graduate from high school and beside this I want to become a famous football player. I know that education really matters and now I know what real sports look like.”

Hashmat’s Educator, Romal, said that when he came to Skateistan he was not so confident. He didn’t talk to his classmates and he was afraid to speak up in front of the class. His Educators worked slowly to build up his confidence. Romal made sure to praise him when he got things right in class and helped him to speak more confidently. Romal suggested that Hashmat join the student council so he would get more used to speaking in front of others and sharing his ideas. Hashmat was nervous to do this as first, but Skateistan creates a safe environment, where everyone is encouraged to share and the students support one another in their growth. Over time, Hashmat found the courage to stand in front of the class and speak. His teachers and classmates celebrated with him when he managed this.

Hashmat (center) enjoys an energizer in his math class at Skateistan.

Romal said: “Hashmat was a quiet boy and could not speak in front of the class, but now I can feel the change in his attitude and personality; he has been the MC of the events and he really did it great.”

Recently, Hashmat acted as MC at the Skate School’s Peace Day event. This is something that Hashmat could not imagine before, but he did a great job. His brother was there and said: “I am so proud of Hashmat that he can do these things. He was a great MC.” 

Hashmat said that he feels that his attitude has been changed and now he knows how sport and education has an effect on people’s lives.

Hashmat, ready for a skate session
“I know that my teacher really tried to change my life in a good manner, my teacher helped me to communicate in a good way with my classmates and other people, I love my teacher and his lessons.”

Romal, Hashmat’s Educator, said:

“Now we are seeing the real and best Hashmat. His personality and ability were there all along - we just helped him to recognize it.”

Hashmat said that he loves the Skateistan and wants to help the organization to expand in the future. 

“I want to make another Skateistan in the future, because I believe it really makes a change and it is important for every child to participate at Skateistan’s programs.”

We all need a place where we feel safe. Skateistan provides places where children like Hashmat are safe to skate, learn, play and dream.

Donate today to help us create places where children can be free from fear.