December 7, 2010
This one caught my eye recently. Have you heard about it?
Skateistan is Afghanistan’s first skateboarding school, providing a place for more than 300 boys and girls to learn skateboarding as well as take educational classes. It is one of the few recreational spaces in Kabul for girls and young women.
From the organization’s press materials: “Skateboarding has been key in bringing together Afghan youth of all ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds … Youth (under 26) account for 70 percent of the country’s population, and so the most worthwhile investment that can be made is to provide a space that encourages tolerance, a civil society built on trust, and opportunities for education. Furthermore, the absolute novelty of the sport means that there aren’t the social norms attached that prevent girls from taking part in other sports.”
Here’s a short documentary on the program (which I first learned about via GOOD).
And here’s a link to a 2009 New York Times video on Skateistan as it was getting off the ground.