Happy Feel Good Friday! I'm traveling for the next few weeks and will be tapping in to the FGF archives for stories. Join me as we look back at some favorites from the last 9 and a half years.
Friday, August 17, 2018
I learned about today's Feel Good Friday organization, Skateistan, from a friend. Not only is skateboarding not a crime, it's a great way to inspire children around the globe!
Skateistan, Sanskrit for "land of skate", started in Afghanistan as a way to empower children. As explained on their website. "Through the hook of skateboarding, we engage with children, especially girls and youth from low-income backgrounds, giving them access to safe spaces and education and provide valuable life skills that go beyond the skatepark and the classroom."
Since their earliest days in 2007, Skateistan has expanded to include programs in Cambodia and South Africa. The four core programs are designed for ages 5 to 17, offered free of charge and focus on keeping the youth involved for the long term.
Outreach involves educators and youth leaders bringing skateboards and equipment into the communities for an hour of recreational activity. Skate and Create is a combo of one hour in the skate park and one hour in the classroom. Back-to-School varies by country. In Afghanistan it's an accelerated learning program covering the national curriculum for children who are not in school. They spend 5 days a week in class and are enrolled in public school after graduating. In Cambodia and South Africa it's a drop in program after school that provides homework help and further education and career planning. The final program, which must be applied for, is Youth Leadership. Youth leaders assist educators, mentor younger students and help plan events.
If you've got 13 minutes, I highly recommend you watch the documentary, "Land of Skate" here. Children involved in the program share how skateboarding has changed their lives and you can see how happy they are when they're skateboarding.
The best way to support this work is by making a donation and becoming a Citizen of Skateistan. You can also represent by shopping for merchandise to wear and showing your support by liking the Facebook page and following them on Twitter @Skateistan.
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