Friday, July 27, 2012

Saved By Skateboarding: Skateistan

Being a child in Afghanistan is not easy. Of its 30 million inhabitants, 43% are 14 years or less, according to CIA data. To reach puberty in this former British protectorate-board of what Rudyard Kipling called the 'Great Game' between the West and Russia must overcome the statistic: 121.63, for every 1,000 babies born, end up dying during the first year.

In this context where Skateistan moves on, an NPO (non-profit organization) created in Afghanistan using the skateboard as a hook to get  Afghans kids into education based on  values and knowledge. Co-founded by two Australians, Oliver Percovich and Sharna Nolan, the success of the idea has been such that branches hace been in Pakistan and Cambodia.

All started when these two skaters arrived in Kabul. While practicing with their skateboard through the streets of the Afghan capital, the boys from the area were approached to try to learn about that  board and four wheels. Using as an old Russian source skatepark and three tables provided by local skaters, Percovich and Nolan began to teach skater teens in Kabul.


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