Student Blog

Puppet Show at Skateistan

There is no doubt that puppet shows can be entertaining for people of all ages. A puppet show can tell stories and convey messages, especially to youth, that sometimes an average actor cannot. Children often pay closer attention to what is being by the said by the puppets, and can learn lessons in a very easy format. A puppet show is a great way to entertain children, teach new ideas, and be an important part of the educational process.

The New Semester on Colours

A new semester has begun here at Skateistan, Kabul! This semester’s topic involves exploring the concept of colours, and classes are in full swing regardless of the freezing temperatures of Kabul’s winter. Students will learn the basics of colour, from warm to cool colours and even secondary and primary colors. From the basics, the youth will take what they have learned to develop creative art projects in many different forms and mediums. 

To start off the semester, Skateistan students played a fun musical chair game in which they were assigned a color from the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or violet. One student from each colour group had to go in front of the class where a circle of chairs waited for them. The youth had to walk, although most of them were just so anxious to sit they started running, and when their colour was called they had to sit in a chair. There was always one chair less than there were students, so whoever didn’t get to take a seat had to sit back in their regular chair. 

After the game, the students were introduced to the basic properties of colour (hue, intensity, and value) in order for them to better understand how colour really works.  The students also explored in their first week how people actually see colour, and how colour and light go hand-in-hand.

Following the basics of colour during the first few weeks at Skateistan, the students learn more detailed facts on colour and will have projects to accompany the things they have learned. Students will learn about warm and cool colours, colour value, analogous, complementary, and neutral colors, and also about how colour affects a person’s psychology.

Projects for the colour semester will include creating their own kaleidoscope, making colourful trees with paint and buttons, and even making colourful jewelry with wire and pistachios. Additionally, a curriculum on colour in Afghanistan could not be complete without learning about the importance of the national colors: green, black, and red. Students will learn about these colours and also about the history of the nation’s flag. More to come soon!

Origami Whales at Skateistan

Last semester, during their unit on animals, Skateistan students studied their favorite animals and discussed many topics, including endangered animals. They made Origami Whales to contribute to the Origami Whales Project (OWP), founded in 2004 by pioneer surfer and skateboarder Peggy Oki, who was the only female member of the Z-Boys skate crew in the 70s. The project raises awareness concerning threats to cetaceans (dolphins and whales).

First-Aid Workshop held for Skateistan Staff

 

A one day first aid workshop was held at Skateistan Kabul on December 20th, 2012 by representatives from ICRC (International Committee for the Red Cross). The workshop was held to train the full-time staff and volunteers of Skateistan to be ready for any accidents or injuries that may happen in the Skate Park or classrooms at our facility. The goal of workshop was to introduce variety of first aid methods and raise awareness of Skateistan staff.

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Girls’ Video Exchange Class

We have recently begun a video exchange class connecting Skateistan students across two countries; Cambodia and Afghanistan. The girls attending our Kabul project on Tuesday afternoons are connecting with girls of Skateistan Cambodia on a weekly basis via Skype video sessions.

Both countries involved in the project are gifted with a rich cultural heritage, which has been threatened by decades of war. Since the purpose of the exchange is to share and celebrate the different aspects of both cultures, the students are not just learning about another culture but also their own as well by delving deeper into what it means to be Afghan or Cambodian.

The exchange began with the students discussing answers to questions such as: interests, hobbies, daily lives and skateboarding skills. Afterwards, students from each Skateistan project were able exchange personal experiences within their country.

The students discussed custom, culture, population, climate, geography and products of each other’s countries. As the class went on they started to discuss more of the social issues that are present in their countries, such as percentage of working women and female inequality.

The girls in Cambodia and Afghanistan have found the exchange uplifting and exciting, giving the students a sense of pride in their cultural identity;

“We are happy to share about what exists in Cambodian culture including food, clothes, dancing, greeting, resorts, as well as the other things since the girls there could not see these things directly, but through pictures, they could understand and know what we have here.” – Skateistan Cambodia’s female students

A Field Trip To Kabul Zoo!!!

girls looking at a bear

 

Recently the Skateistan students in Kabul started their new semester with the topic of “animals”. In first weeks they researched about animals – they learnt how they are classified into different groups and discovered information about animals found in Afghanistan. The kids were then able to use their newly learnt knowledge by playing games related to animals.

Connecting Dots - Lakota Skate Exchange

Recently the student skateboarders at Skateistan, Kabul started an exchange program with a group of Lakota (Native American) skaters on the Pine Ridge reservation, South Dakota. This program entitled Connecting Dots will see the decoration of 10 blank decks in unique designs by both groups. After the exchange the skaters in Pine Ridge will be able to skate on our specially designed skateboards, and likewise we can go skateboarding on those they have made for us.

Last Saturday we had the first class of the exchange, in which the Skateistan students made a plan, divided the tasks between each other and worked on a introduction video to give to the skaters in Pine Ridge. The Skateistan skaters are very excited to be involved in this program.

Climbing at Skateistan

The desire of the Tuesday morning girls class was finally fulfilled with the help of two climbing instructors; Kelsey and Erin who used to do climbing in their country and were keen to share it with Afghan girls.

After climbing the wall, the girls talked about their first climbing experience. At first it was hard for them, as they found the climbing route quite puzzling. But very soon they got used to it and were impressed by their own ability to climb.

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