Skateistan HQ provides oversight of local skateboarding and education programmes at the Skate Schools in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa. Each Skate School is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization and has its own governing board.
Skateistan’s overall objective (mission) is to empower children through skateboarding and education. Skateistan works with over 2,500 students (aged 5-17) focusing particularly on groups who are often excluded from sports and educational opportunities, especially girls (aiming for 50% of student intake), children from low socioeconomic backgrounds, children living with a disability, children from migrant backgrounds, and internally displaced children. Through offering a combination of free sports, formal education and nonformal education, participating children develop valuable life skills that go beyond the skatepark and classroom and enabling them to build prosperous futures.
Skateistan works in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa, which are places of long-term social or military conflict and concentrated poverty, where education and recreational opportunities for children are very limited. Skateistan designs its programs using a needs assessment and community engagement process (see attachment above), which helped determine what interventions are most fitting. Skateistan will work with children (aged 5-17), striving for 50% female participation, and with a special focus on including children with disabilities, children from low socio-economic backgrounds and internally displaced children. Consulting with its partners, Skateistan identified the following issues for children in Afghanistan (a specific focus of this application): low access to quality education and fair employment, poor quality of curricula and teachers, violence and harassment, child marriages, drug abuse, discrimination, especially towards girls and women, and youth living with disabilities. Afghan children with physical and/or intellectual disabilities face significant social stigma, preventing them from participating in leisure activities and accessing basic services like education. Skateistan’s programs are aligned with the Afghan Ministry of Education’s National Education Strategic Plan in two important ways - gender and inclusion. Skateistan is improving access to learning and retention of girls in schools, and ensuring learners with special needs, IDPs, and other disadvantaged groups are included in the programs. With nearly half the Afghan population (47.7%) being under 15 years of age, it is crucial to provide investment and high quality programs to this demographic.