On October 29th 2009, Skateistan opened the first skate school in Kabul, Afghanistan. It’s much more than a skatepark – for the past five years it has been a space for developing education and a community based on everyone’s shared love of skateboarding.
Before the Skateistan facility was completed, the Mekroyan fountain was the hottest skate spot in Kabul. It became clear soon after Skateistan's beginnings that a private facility was neccessary to include more students and keep them safe - especially for the girls. Since the construction of the school in 2009, Skateistan has seen many young Afghans go from being streetworking kids, to volunteers, to teachers in the skatepark and classrooms. For many of our students, coming to Skateistan gives them a few rare moments of childhood – laughter and play – an escape from their daily reality that is often filled with work and stress. It’s a place where they can feel safe, achieve their goals, create wonderful projects, make life-long friends and strive towards a better future.
Next week Skateistan will be celebrating a brilliant 5 years of having a roof over its head in Kabul, so keep an eye out for photos and our re-cap of the event!
Today we’ve chosen to share a few standout moments from Kabul over the years:
Some of Skateistan's very first students jump from an abandoned tank after a street session in Kabul. Afghanistan's history of war has left the country littered with old tanks and machines like this one.
13-year-old Fazila drops in for a crowd at an event for Peace Day in 2010. Skateistan holds numerous events every year for students and their families - a great opportunity to show off everything they've learned.
12-year-old Tamana outside the skate school during an event for Go Skateboarding Day 2011. These events are a unique and rare opportunity for Afghan children to skate outside.
The Skateistan community was shattered in September 2012 when four of our students were tragically killed in a suicide blast outside of ISAF headquarters in Kabul. Nawab, one of the students who passed away, kickflips during Go Skateboarding Day, in June that same year.
In 2010, Skateistan launched a Back-to-School program to help get students back into the public school system. Since it's launch, over 150 children have successfully re-integrated into the public school system. Girls working hard in 2013.
Want to help Skateistan empower Afghan youth through sport and education?