A safe skate-haven for children in Jordan.

Seven Hills is an organization based in Amman, Jordan which empowers youth through skateboarding and education.

Jordan is a safe haven for 3 million refugees from Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen, making it the second largest host of refugees per capita in the world. The spike in population from consecutive refugee crises has put a huge strain on the country; shifting strategies to focus on the populations most immediate needs like food and housing, leaving investment in recreational and cultural spaces to take a back seat. The immense lack of public spaces reinforces the separation of social classes and serves as a catalyst for deeply rooted social issues in Jordanian society. This is where the community-based organization Seven Hills comes in. The name originates from the seven mountains on which the city of Amman was built. Since 2014, Seven Hills have partnered with local municipalities to develop 2 skateparks, have contributed to the development of disability accessible spaces, free community areas for families, and the Al Raseef makerspace: a creative hub for cultural events, artistic workshops, and experimentation. With a special focus on displaced communities and families from Jordan’s lower socio-economic classes, their free of charge programs empower young people to become active and positive contributors to their community. With 40% of their participants from a refugee and migrant background, their mobile SkateBus programs are able to reach youth in isolated communities such as refugee camps and remote areas with limited facilities for education and youth development. Their adaptive programming promotes the inclusivity of children with disabilities and advocates for their visibility in public spaces. The Youth Leadership Program trains beneficiaries of their programs to become skate and art teachers, and ultimately become community leaders beyond the skatepark. The peer to peer educational approach not only sustains the Seven Hills programs, but provides valuable employability skills to participants.

Seven Hills and THE SKATEROOM’s social impact

  • 5,842 participants across all programs
  • 55% girls participation
  • 520 Youth Leadership Program participations
  • 140 youth with disabilities
  • 40% of youth from displaced backgrounds

What are the future projects?

In 2023, Seven Hills will continue to develop its programming to 4 different locations in partnership with local NGOs and municipal bodies. The organization will expand their programs to include more youth with disabilities, increase the Skate Bus outreach to more displaced communities, and further develop the economic and training opportunities for Youth Leaders. In an effort to support the social cohesion between locals and residents of a neighboring refugee camp, Seven Hills aims to build another skatepark and recreational public space.