Building a skatepark for the Iraqi community

Make Life Skate Life is an international non-profit organization that uses skateboarding as a means to teach cross-cultural communication, social inclusions, creative self-expression, and resilience to underprivileged youth populations. They have built various skateparks and skate projects around the world. Sulaymaniyah, Iraq and surrounding areas are home to displaced young people from other parts of Iraq and Syria whose lives have been affected by violence and war. Refugees like these have very few possibilities to interact in a positive way with peers outside their communities. With this in mind, in May 2018 Make Life Skate Life coordinated the build of a 650m2 skatepark in Sulaymaniyah which would play host to a volunteer-led skate program in the facility, open everyday to the local community. Weekly skate classes led by local youth leaders are given twice a week and are attended by 30 boys and girls each week. In addition, they organized an outreach program in a refugee camp nearby benefitting more than 50 young Syrian refugees and internally displaced people.

About Sulaymaniyah's Skatepark:

  • 75 refugee youth attending
  • 50% girls
  • 4 ethnicities represented
  • 4 paid local trainers
THE SKATEROOM funded this project with a dedicated campaign grant of $17,000 in 2018.