Mission/slogan: Empowering children and youth through skateboarding and education.
Vision: Creating leaders for a better world.
Skateistan is an award winning international non-profit organisation empowering children and youth through skateboarding and education in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa. Through their innovative programs; Outreach, Skate and Create, Back-to-School and Youth Leadership, Skateistan aims to give youth the opportunity to become leaders for a better world.
What Skateistan does
Skateistan South Africa’s programs are run from the “skate school” in New Doornfontein, Johannesburg and offer programs to children aged 5 to 17 with a focus on girls and children from low-income backgrounds. The four core programs aim to keep children and youth involved in the Skateistan community for the long term.
Students participate in arts based educational classes coupled with skateboarding sessions from Monday to Friday with girls only sessions held on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Older students take part in career and educational planning classes exploring university entrance, sourcing scholarships and bursaries and subject choices; as well as homework tutoring with Skateistan educators and volunteer tutors. As participants get older, they become Youth Leaders and thus become role models to the younger children and the wider community.
1. Skate and Create
This program offers weekly skateboarding instruction alongside an educational arts-based curriculum. In the classroom, Skateistan Educators use creative arts to teach a variety of topics, including human rights, cultural studies, nutrition and the environment. Lessons focus on giving youth 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 completion of the program, Skateistan enrolls 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.
3. Youth Leadership
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!
Outreach sessions take place at Skate Schools and in the local areas Skateistan works in. Educators and Youth Leaders head out with skateboards and sports equipment to engage with local youth providing an hour of recreational activity. It is often the first time they will try skateboarding, or other sports and their first contact with Skateistan. Through Outreach sessions, many students go on to register in the Skate and Create or Back-to-School program. In fact, many current Youth Leaders and staff members started at Outreach!
Who does Skateistan reach?
Youth aged 5-17 with a focus on:
- Low income youth
- Youth living with a disability
*Skateistan’s programs are available to youth from all economic, ethnic and religious backgrounds to encourage respect and empathy.
- Over 1,800 students
- Over 50% of Skateistan students are girls
- Skateistan student represent more than 20 ethnicities and nationalities
- An overview of Skateistan: Skateistan Overview
- Skateistan’s latest fundraising campaign highlighting the journey of students from each of the sites: Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa: Land of Skate.
Join the Citizens of Skateistan: monthly donor community, when you donate $10 or more you become a citizen (skateistan.org/citizens/)
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