Skateistan began in 2007 and is now an award winning non-profit organization. Through our innovative programs children build the skills and confidence, to create a brighter future for themselves and their communities. Read on to find out about our programs and where we work.
We believe that positive social change happens when children are educated on how to take care of themselves and their communities. Our programs are for children aged 5 to 17 with a focus on girls, children living with a disability, and children from low income backgrounds. The four core programs aim to keep children and youth involved at Skateistan for the long term. As participants get older, they become role models to the younger students and to the wider community.
Educators and Youth Leaders head out with skateboards and sports equipment to engage with local children, providing an hour of recreational activity. It is often the first time they will try skateboarding or other sports, and is their first contact with Skateistan. We also develop partnerships with child protection agencies in order to connect youth and their families with important social services. Through Outreach sessions, many students go on to register in the Skate and Create or Back-to-School programs. In fact, many current Youth Leaders and staff members first started at Outreach!
This two-hour program consists of an hour in the skatepark and an hour in the classroom. In the classroom, Skateistan Educators use creative arts to teach a variety of topics, including human rights, cultural studies, nutrition and the environment. Lessons give youth the tools to express themselves, think critically and develop confidence. In the skatepark, students find a valuable platform for self-expression and personal development. Accessible to all levels of literacy and education, Skate and Create provides a safe space for youth to develop friendships that overcome deep social barriers.
Back-to-School is a program to support youth in their pursuit of formal education. In Afghanistan, this is an accelerated learning program for children who are out of school. Students come to the Skate School five days a week to attend classes covering the national public curriculum. Upon completing the program, we enroll students into public school, usually in the 3rd or 4th grade. In South Africa and Cambodia, the program takes place outside of school hours, where students can drop-in and receive homework help and guidance with career and further education planning.
Motivated youth at Skateistan can apply to join the Youth Leadership program, assisting the Educators in classes, mentoring younger students, 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.
From the heart of Kabul, Afghanistan, to the busy Central Business District of Johannesburg, at Skateistan, children find a fun, safe community where they can play and learn, free from discrimination and violence. We run our programs at our Skate Schools, at external locations, and with partner organizations in all the countries we work in. Our programs are adapted to address local needs and our Skate Schools are locally run. See where we work and find out more about each location.