Skateistan creates Self-Confidence
Skateistan is an Afghan non-professional organization that helps young people - especially young girls - in the cities of Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Johannesburg to get more self-confidence and education through skateboard lessons.
The organization was founded by the Australian Oliver Percovich. He visited Afghanistan in 2007 and decided to open the first skate school there. Especially young girls in the country have few opportunities for sports and leisure. Oppression and equality are still major issues in the country.
After the concept was very well accepted among young people and since one was able to set up a reserve by the help of international donations and partners of the skateboarding industry, Percovich registered the non-governmental organization Skateistan in Afghanistan in 2009. He opened a skate hall with connected classrooms, where additional educational programs such as computer courses are beeing offered.
In the following years, Skateistan opened further skate schools in Afghanistan, Cambodia and now in Johannesburg, South Africa. Tony Hawk, the skate star, came to the opening, who supports the project energetically. The organization has already won all the awards for its project, including the "NGO of the Year Award" in 2009 and awards for its documentary short film "To Live and Skate Kabul".
The focus of Skateistan is on children and young people between five and seventeen years, mostly from socially weaker strata. The organization's program is divided into four areas: "Outreach", "Skate and Create", "Back to School" and "Youth Leadership".
In the "Outreach", youth leaders and educators engage with young people in the first point of contact. They provide first insights into skateboarding and introduce equipment and early skills. In the two-hour program "Skate and Create", there are skate courses beeing offered every week, which also include theoretical content on topics such as human rights, cultural studies, nutrition and the environment. In the "Back to School" program, for example, students get help with homework or they are beeing supported in the planning of their further vocational education plan. In the end, interested young people, who had already been involved in the programs for many years, can support the teachers in their work under the "Youth Leadership". This program aims to create leadership.