Skateistan believes that the community-building effects of skateboarding are especially powerful in Afghanistan, which has experienced over 30 years of ongoing conflict and social dislocation. Operating as an Afghan NGO, Skateistan builds trust among youth and develops their confidence, leadership, and life skills. We have two project locations in Afghanistan: Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif.
With 68% of the population under the age of 25 (and 50% under the age of 16), it is vital that development efforts in Afghanistan engage with youth immediately. Skateistan works with nearly 400 youth each week, and focuses especially on providing opportunities for Afghan girls and streetworking children.
In December, we launched the Citizens of Skateistan. Our international community of supporters, skaters, students and staff, who united together to support skateboarding and education around the world. Around 1600 youth come to Skateistan each week, here are the stories of the Educators and Citizens of Skateistan who help make it possible.
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...
Skateistan recently celebrated its 5th anniversary at the Kabul skatepark with 550 students, staff, alumni, families, officials, community members and supporters. The event was entirely organized and run by Skateistan youth leaders, including some who were our very first students in 2009. Click the image to see more photos!
In 2013 and 2014 British photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson visited the Skateistan projects in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. In a video just released by the BBC World Service, she talks to Dan Damon about 'Skate Girls of Kabul'. The first photo ‘Skate Girl’ is shortlisted for the National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. Watch the video here.
Skateistan’s newest project in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan received a huge facelift recently: Afghanistan’s biggest (and newest) rock climbing wall! German volunteers and climbing experts Martin Walch, Martina Messner and Elias Hitthaler spent nearly two weeks in Mazar-e-Sharif, overseeing and assisting in the building of the new wall.
Female students in Mazar counting fruit they collected during a scavenger hunt
In September, after several months of attending weekly skateboarding classes alongside taking part in various art projects, students at Skateistan Mazar began their first complete semester unit. Alongside their peers in Phnom Penh and Kabul, students in Mazar will be focusing the next several months on nutrition and sanitation.