Last evening while scrolling down through pages of mind numbing facebook nonsense, I came across a truly inspiration video about a wonderful organization known as SKATEISTAN.
An Afghan non-governmental organization that works with youth from a wide range of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds to build trust and to provide empowerment through a combination of skateboarding and education.
Sounds pretty weird right? Given the current problems in Afghanistan (and in the world) you would imagine that skateboarding is probably the the last thing anyone in the right mind would care about.
Until you watch this video below…. (click it!)
Myself and most of the r5 staff comes from a punk / skating background (you know, back when you were a legit weirdo if you skated) and this pulled at my heart strings big time. It’s really amazing to see something that we all took for granted (skateboarding) and the effect it can have on these young people. Imagine being a young woman, growing up in one of the most war torn places on the planet where there are little to no education, social or recreational opportunities for you (young Afghan girls are not even allowed to ride bicycles.) This group helps provides a positive alternate life path for these girls and that’s what really “sold” us on this group..
Skateistan strives for gender equality in one of the most gender-biased societies in the world. Nearly 40% of the students are girls. Additionally, approximately half of Skateistan’s students work on the street and are illiterate due to economic pressures keeping them out of school. Operating six days a week, the Skateistan facility in Kabul runs skateboarding and classroom activities, in addition to classes for disabled youth, advanced photography and film classes, and a Back-to-School program for streetworking children.
Click this below video to learn a little bit more about how this groups makes such a large impact specificially with young women …
All students come once a week for one hour of skateboarding and one hour of classroom programming, taught by both Afghan and international instructors. Classroom lessons are designed to be accessible for both literate and illiterate students by incorporating games and hands-on creative arts projects such as photography, painting, theatre, and puppetry. Past curriculum themes have been environmental health, the future of Kabul, peace in Afghanistan, gender equality, and culture. Skateistan provides all skateboards and safety equipment, and classes are supervised by 2-6 instructors. Students that show potential have the chance to become paid instructors in the program.
So for this upcoming Punk Rock Flea Market (next Friday Dec 14 and Sat Dec 15) we are going to donate a majority of proceeds to Skateistan. We are doing just fine these days and would really like to help others. Especially something as cool as this over the holidays.
The purpose of this e-mail isn’t to tell you how wonderful we are. But to ask for your consideration in joining us. They have a goal to raise $35,000 by the end of the month and we really want them to meet it. Please, please, please make a donation if you can. Any little bit helps. $5, $10 (which pays for two pair of skate shoes) or even more. Consider going to one less show next year and use that money to donate to these young women.