The Rural Changemakers is a social project launched in an isolated rural village of India, heavily regulated by caste and hierarchy. It was started February 2014 by Ulrike Reinhard with the desire to use skateboarding as a tool to drive fundamental social, cultural, and economic change.
The Janwaar Castle project had two simple rules: no school, skateboarding, and girls first!
The initiative sought to develop trust and build confidence within the youth of this remote village, through the process of having fun and learning new skills. Though skateboarding was something completely foreign to these kids, Reinhard believed in its power to make a difference.
The experiment is turning out to be a success. Skateboarding helped these kids develop self-esteem and confidence, empowering them to become role models within their community. By breaking down the caste barrier, and encouraging the inclusion of girls, these children effectively became The Rural Changemakers.
In 2018, two children were selected to represent their country in the Skateboarding World Championships in Nanjing, China. During the Indian Skateboarding Championships 2018, 11 out of 18 medals went to Janwaar. Most recently, the village launched the Open School Project, a two-year program for 12 kids.
To help The Rural Changemakers continue towards progress and build a second skatepark, we donate 15% of the sales proceeds from our collaboration with contemporary artist, Walead Beshty.