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Skateistan: Empowering Afghan girls through skateboards, enlivening children

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

In a land where women are still battling the clout of Taliban while exercising their basic freedom, Skateistan, an international NGO which began as a grassroot movement, has decided to take up the cause of girl empowerment.

The Skateistan program in Afghanistan helps educate poor children through the street sport of skateboarding.

A novel initiative founded in 2007  by Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich, Skateistan uses skateboarding as a tool to lure children into schooling. He perceived the dearth of opportunities for young Afghans, particularly girls and working children and visualized skateboarding as a way to engage and build the community.

It was officially registered as an Afghan NGO in July 2009.

Skatiestan has three core programs in Afghanistan: Skate and Create, Back to School, Youth Leadership. Here is how they work:

Skate and Create

This program offers regular, structured weekly skateboarding instruction alongside an educational arts-based curriculum:

  • In the skate park, children of all backgrounds find a valuable platform for self-expression, creativity, goal setting and personal development.
  • In the classroom, students use fine arts and multimedia to explore geography, world cultures, history, human rights, environmental studies, hygiene, storytelling and more.
  • Lessons focus on giving youth tools to express themselves, think critically and solve problems in their local and global communities.
  • Special community events and international multimedia and art exchanges with peers around the globe expand the students’ personal worlds.

Back to School

Back-to-School is an accelerated learning program that prepares out of school youth to enroll for the first time, or re-enroll in the public school system.

  • During each four-month semester, experienced teachers guide students through an accelerated study of one grade of public school curriculum, preparing students for government standardized exams.
  • Upon completion of two to three semesters in the program, Skateistan enrolls the student into a government operated school, usually entering the 3rd or 4th grade.
  • A Student Support Officer follows up regularly with the graduate to ensure the new track is working well for the student and their family.

Youth Leadership

Dozens of youth who have become volunteers or staff with the organization, and now play an active role in developing programs for their peers.

  • Youth Leaders assist in skate sessions and classroom lessons, help to plan and manage events, and take part in special sports, arts, and multimedia workshops, which increase their skill sets.
  • The Youth Leadership initiative helps exceptional youth reach their potential to become positive role models for hundreds of students, and to initiate positive community projects of their own.

Apart from functioning in Afghanistan, Skateistan has also grown to run skateboarding and educational programming for children in other countries: In 2011 Skateistan Cambodia was founded in Phnom Penh, and in 2014 Skateistan South Africa was founded in Johannesburg.

While speaking on the kind of empowerment that kids require, Percovich said, “ A lot of foreign aid agencies here tell them what they should be doing or what they should know, but it’s incredibly important for the children to decide these things for themselves.”

“I want to give them some sort of control over their own destiny, he said.

Skateistan’s skateboarding and educational programs are free of charge and open to girls and boys of all socio-economic backgrounds between the ages of 5 and 18.

Over 40 per cent of Skateistan students are girls.

Next Story

Advantages of Enrolling Your Kids in Singapore

Singapore is a rich country and you can expect nothing less when it comes to education

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Singapore
Enrolling your kids to study in Singapore is definitely a great choice. This is perfect for parents who work a lot in Singapore so you get to settle down with the entire family rather than going back and forth for few days of vacation only. Wikimedia Commons

Singapore is known to be one of the leading countries in the world in terms of global commerce, finance, tourism and education. It is the world’s capital for global affairs. Thus, it is not surprising that many expats are living in the country. Growing numbers of families from different parts of the world decide to settle down and build a life in this small but very rich country.

In this article, we will discuss some advantages of enrolling your kid to an International School in Singapore maybe under IB DP or International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. This is perfect for expats who are running a business in the country or to those who are looking to settle down and start a family.

  • Highest quality of education in the world

The government of Singapore takes education very seriously. As a country taking great pride with strong economy, they wish to see future leaders that will continue the efforts of today’s leaders and with that, they ensure that schools in the country starting from preparatory to university offers the highest possible quality of education any parent would want for their children. 

  • Cost effective

Highest quality education does not necessarily mean highest tuition fee too, at least not in Singapore. Your children will surely get a world-class education and the best part is that the price you pay is not ridiculously high compared to those in Europe and USA Still, Singaporean credentials are highly acknowledged and demanded in the world.

  • Safe campuses

Living in a foreign country can be scary in the beginning most especially sending out your kids to school for the first time. As parents, you wish to ensure safety of your kids when they are not at home. Choosing to enroll your kids in an International School will give you assurance that your kids are in safe hands. The campuses are safe for the kids with security personnel in different areas of the school as well as security cameras. They guarantee you of your kid’s safety and wellness while inside the campus.

  • Modern technology and advanced facilities

Singapore is a rich country and you can expect nothing less when it comes to education. Schools and universities are equipped with modern technology and advanced educational facilities to provide highest quality of education for the students. Every technology, facility and design has been carefully formulated to give the students the best academic and extracurricular activities they need to eventually become the best versions of themselves.

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Singapore is known to be one of the leading countries in the world in terms of global commerce, finance, tourism and education. Pixabay
  • Happy and friendly community

School is the second home of children. They develop not only their wisdom but also their personalities and behaviours. Researches have shown that school has a great impact in the development of growing children. They deserve to have not only the best education but also great sets of friends and classmates and supportive and caring teachers and faculty. Also, enrolling your kids to international school in Singapore widens their perspective as they are being exposed to children and teachers from different parts of the world. It is indeed a great experience for them.

ALSO READ: Here’s Why Weight-Oriented Bullying Can Increase Alcohol Consumption Risk in Adolescents

Enrolling your kids to study in Singapore is definitely a great choice. This is perfect for parents who work a lot in Singapore so you get to settle down with the entire family rather than going back and forth for few days of vacation only.