Monday, November 4, 2013

Skateistan empowering girls and working youth

One organization that I discovered that is truly remarkable is called Skateistan. It is a creative, non-profit organization that uses skateboarding as a tool for empowering youth to provide opportunities for education and creative thinking that help break the cycle of poverty and exclusion.

With programs in Afghanistan and Cambodia, Skateistan is finding a way to expose these children to outside cultural influences as well as building self confidence in a fun, constructive learning environment.

Skateistan is geared toward kids ages 5-18, focusing on girls and working children.I think it's great for these children to be learning how to skateboard, the girls especially. being that girls in these areas are not allowed to ride bicycles and are specifically excluded from traditional sorts, I think it's wonderful that they are being provided with an outlet that they can express themselves and have fun.

Skateistan fights for gender equality in one of the most sexist, and gender discriminating countries in the world. Nearly 40% of Skateistan's students are girls. Unfortunately, approximately half of Skateistan’s students work on the street and many are illiterate due to economic pressures keeping them out of school, and I feel that it is wonderful that the organization offers a variety of programs supporting education, arts and leadership, alongside the skateboard lessons. Skateistan has the ultimate goal of getting girls out of danger, off the street and enrolled or re-enrolled into the public school system.

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