Promising youth at Skateistan may go on to become Youth Leaders, assisting the Educators in classes, building their skill sets and planning local events. The Youth Leadership program develops a sense of ownership at the Skate Schools and creates role models for the other students and wider community. The program aims to create leaders for Skateistan and for a better world!
Latifa* is 13 years old. She started as a Skate and Create student and is now a Youth Leader helping teach skateboarding to other students.
Skateboarding unites people all over the world, so in honor of that fact, this month's Keep Skateistan Rolling will showcase the faces and stories of the supporters, students, skateboarders and staff who are a part of what we do. As Citizen's of Skateistan, they share a dream of bringing children together through skateboarding and education. Here is Farzad's story...
In a recent newsletter, we featured an interview with Skateistan Cambodia staff member Kov Chansangva (Tin). Tin has been working with Skateistan Cambodia for ten months, and has quickly become an invaluable member of the Skateistan team. Her passion for skateboarding, dance, music, and teaching combined with her can-do attitude and energy make her a fantastic female role model for all the students at Skateistan Cambodia. To our knowledge, Tin was the first Cambodian woman ever to land a kickflip.
While there are numerous barriers to female participation in sport around the world, Tin represents a growing population of female athletes in Cambodia.
Madina explains the responsibilities of the student representatives
After a break, the students of Skateistan Kabul have decided to elect new class representatives to run the student council meetings again.
Mazar-e-Sharif is a special place in Afghanistan. Centered around the spectacular blue-tiled mosque, known as the Shrine of Hazrat Ali or simply “the blue-mosque,” Afghanistan’s 4th largest city will soon boast another landmark, at least in the eyes of the children.
Mazar-e-Sharif (MeS) will provide the location for Skateistan’s 2nd skatepark in Afghanistan and most ambitious project yet: a three-part, multifunctional facility dedicated to Skateistan’s sport and educational activities.
Skateistan student and teacher Madina, age 14, speaks to Afghan Parliament about the issues identified in the Children's Shura last week.
Fourteen-year-old Madina Saidy started as a student at Skateistan. Now, she is a youth leader at Skateistan and a role model to hundreds of Afghan youth each week in the classes she teaches. Just a teenager herself, Madina has accomplished more than most people hope to their whole lives.
On Saturday March 9, she was selected to speak at the 3rd Annual Children's National Assembly, which took place at Afghanistan's Parliament building in Kabul, to present the issues facing Afghan youth to over 100 members of government.
In Afghanistan, a "Shura" is a decision-making council which usually includes community leaders and elders. The Children's Shura is an annual, week-long event that gives a voice to the youth, and a direct link to parliament. It is organized each year by the Mobile Mini Circus for Children NGO and includes nearly 150 children from nine provinces, as well as NGOs working with children, and children living in IDP/refugee camps.
For the second year in a row, Skateistan youth from Afghanistan took part in the WeFree youth leadership event in Italy. Skateistan student and volunteer Noman Stanekzai attended the event along with two Skateistan staff that volunteered for six months in Kabul.
Noman says, "To begin with, I feel very lucky to be a part of Skateistan family and be able to help and support Skateistan in any possible way. On the 5th and 6th of October, Frauke, Erika and myself were invited to the international WeFree event, held in Italy. We introduced Skateistan by screening the movie ‘Four Wheels and a Board in Kabul. This was an amazing opportunity for us to express our feelings about Skateistan and about my country."
Taking place near Rimini, Italy, WeFree Days are held annually by the San Patrignano community, and are a way for young people all over the world to come together. This gathering works to establish a sense of community, to share ideas, and speak of personal experiences and hardships, as well as show the possibility of positive change, including drug addiction prevention, through the celebration of various aspects of youth culture.
Noman says that "Flying to Italy was my dream, to see the ocean, eat the Italian pizza, and meet the culture of the people, and it was way, way more amazing than what I expected!"
He continues, adding that "This trip was very productive: I met different people from many parts of the world with different thoughts and inspiring activities. This really inspired me to be strong when coming up against the problems in life and taught me many lessons. I had the best experience of my life and when I met Frauke and Erika in Italy after more than a year since last seeing them in Afghanistan, it felt like I was meeting a member of my family which made everything more special."