On this year’s International Women’s Day, we want to celebrate the achievements of women and girls together with our partner Skateistan. Thanks to their dedicated work, these girls in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, now have a safe environment to express themselves.
Skateistan and The Skateroom have been working together for the past seven years. With help from our support, the NGO developed projects in locations such as: Kabul, Mazar, Bamyan, Phnom Penh and Johannesburg.
In Afghanistan, girls are often prevented from doing any physical activity in public. Running, riding bicycles, even flying a kite can cause problems for the local girls. Providing a safe environment and private space where they can skateboard is a huge step forward. Many girls are taught that all they can expect is to become a wife and mother – education is often not a priority. 42% of Afghanistan’s primary-aged children are not in school and over 60% of those children are girls.
By providing education, role models and also job opportunities, Skateistan is showing girls a range of new possibilities. With more than half of their staff worldwide being women, they prove to girls that they can be whatever they dream of being.
Skateistan encourages them to explore their interests, pursue their dreams, and give them the tools to do this.
Skateistan does so by:
Running girls-only sessions in all their Skate Schools by providing them with a safe space to express themselves
Employing women to manage the schools, providing role models for girls
Making sure to focus on girls’ participation, with as objective to have at least more than 50% of their students being girls
Soon, a brand new Skate School will be welcoming students in Bamyan, Afghanistan – a space where girls like Belqisa and Saeeda can build their future.
Saeeda – Skateistan Youth Leader “Skating means reaching the peak of success It means getting away from fear It means raising self-confidence It means life!”
Belqisa – Skateistan Educator “Skateboarding makes me feel more brave and it means a lot to me, as it is a way to release my fears and stress.”
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