This week, I turned to one of my sources for Feel Good Friday stories, Karma Tube, and I'm very glad I did. It led me to today's organization, Janwaar Castle.
Located near New Delhi, India, Janwaar Castle is a community organization founded in 2016 by Ulrike Reinhard with one purpose, "to uplift the lives of the villagers in Janwaar, especially those of the Janwaar children." The main activity used to bring the children together? Skateboarding!
In this 7:30 min video, the Barefoot Skateboarders of India, you'll see how skateboarding together brakes down barriers between children, empowers girls to interact with the boys, and increases all of the children's participation in school due to the rule, no government school = no skateboarding.
Next month (Nov. 12 - 14) Janwaar Castle will be hosting a skateboard challenge that will bring together girls and boys ages 6 - 16 from all across India to compete and to celebrate skateboarding. There will also be trips to the jungle and education about nature and village life.
While the skatepark is the main focus, the people of Janwaar Castle are also fundraising to build an infrastructure to support access to clean water year round. Another project is the Rural Changemakers campaign, the first step of which is "a compilation of photographs of children from Janwaar, talking about the goals they have in life, their passions and their hopes." You can see those photos here.
The goal is for children to be empowered to move forward with their own learning. That's embodied by the principles of the organization, some of which include: resilience over strength, practice over theory and we over me.
If you like what you see you can help Janwaar Castle by making a donation. You can also keep current by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @Janwaar_Castle. Now take off your shoes, get on your skateboard and go make some friends!