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Women

Mar 25, 2021

Everyday is Women’s Day at Skateistan

The women's educational program in Afghanistan that teaches self-reliance through skateboarding is now home to the best female skaters in the country.

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The Outdoor Journal

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Skateistan, the international NGO which empowers children through skateboarding and creative education, has released a new video to mark International Women’s Day. The video features four female skaters from the charity’s Afghan Skate Schools in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif. The original footage was submitted as entries for the Asian Skateboarder of the Year Award, which recognized many of Skateistan’s Afghan skaters.

Although sport is prohibited for many girls in Afghanistan, Arezo*, Belqisa, Saeeda, and Marzia are defying expectations by skating and showing other girls how it’s done. All four girls have come up through Skateistan’s programs and are now educators or volunteers in the organization, helping others to improve their skating but also to keep pushing for their dreams.

Skateistan is also sharing a new collection of photos, taken by Juliette Cassidy, who visited the Skate School in Mazar-e-Sharif at the end of 2020. Her unique images capture girls who are confident in taking up space and striving for their own futures.

Skateistan is an award-winning international non-profit organization empowering children through skateboarding and education in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa. Through their innovative programs which combine creative, arts-based education with the fun and freedom of skateboarding, Skateistan gives children the opportunity to become leaders for a better world.

Skateistan programs have averaged over 50% female participation so far in 2021. All Skateistan Skate Schools are managed by women and over half their global staff is female. Around this time last year, this empowering program was recognized as the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you’re a girl).

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Skateistan’s Communications Manager, Jessica Faulkner said, “The photos and the video together are a perfect way to mark International Women’s Day at Skateistan. We want to acknowledge the challenges that girls are facing in many parts of the world and to celebrate the bravery and determination of our students, to keep chasing their dreams. Our students inspire us every day to keep working towards a better future, where girls can be free to make their own choice and to be recognized for their incredible achievements.”

In our interview with Jessica Faulkner, the Communications Manager at Skateistan’s Berlin headquarters, Jessica discusses designing gender-inclusive programs to encourage young girls to skate, developing classroom programs to focus on life skills like resilience and determination, and the best way that readers can get involved and become a Citizen of Skateistan. [Listen to the full podcast episode here.]

All photos by Juliette Cassidy for Skateistan

*Name changed in accordance with Skateistan’s Child Protection Policy.

Skateistan: How Skateboarding is Changing the Story for Kids in Need
Part 2: The Skateistan Difference – Skate Schools to Build a Better Future
Part 3: Skateistan Makes it Safe to Skate
International Women’s Day: Skateistan’s Program Gives Girls a Unique Chance at an Education

Visit www.skateistan.org for more information, or follow Skateistan on social media:

Instagram: @skateistan
Facebook: @skateistan
Twitter: @skateistan

 


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