Next Step 2014 presentation by Abdul Qudos Amini from Skateistan
Abdul Qudos Amini
What is Skateistan?
Skateistan began as a Kabul-based Afghan NGO
(Non-Governmental Organization) and is now an
International non-profit charity providing
skateboarding and educational programming in
Afghanistan and Cambodia. Skateistan is nonpolitical, independent, and inclusive of all
ethnicities, religions and social backgrounds.
Skateistan aims to always be a unique social
project with quality.
use skateboarding as a tool for empowering
youth, to create new opportunities and the
potential for change.
To grow a sustainable organization that is
recognized locally & globally for changing the
lives of hundreds of thousands of youth through
skateboarding and quality programs creating
leaders that change the world.
Who we work with:
We work with youth ages 5-18.
Over 50% of our students are streetworking
Nearly 40% of our students are girls.
What we do:
provide access to education
focus especially on girls and working children
develop leadership opportunities
build friendship, trust, and social capital
How does Skateistan use sport as a “hook” to
engage youth with other opportunities?
-First organization to combine skateboarding with
-Once kids latch onto skateboarding, so much more
is possible: education, community, leadership.
-Kids come for skateboarding, and stay for education
-Children attend Skateistan for one two-hour session
each week: one hour of structured skateboarding
lessons followed by one hour of arts-based
education accessible to all literacy levels.
-Back to School students get weekly skate sessions
Kids learn that through skateboarding, they can create better
opportunities for themselves-become skate teachers, peer
leaders, and more.
-Streetworking kids are given the chance to work in a safe
environment doing something they love
-Skateboarding creates friendships between people of all
different backgrounds-creates an environment for forging
-Skateboarding teaches youth to overcome challenges, gives
- Skateboarding is not competitive, but it is challenging.
Requires focus and teamwork.
- Skateistan is one of the few places kids come for fun-they
have a sense of ownership over Skateistan-it is a place for
-Skateistan students exposed through skateboarding gain
access to photography, art, and opportunities to share their
Merza used to wash cars. He had very few
opportunities. He became involved with
skateboarding, is now a maintenance manager and
cleaner for Skateistan and is a skate teacher and role
model. He has also learned many media skills
including email, facebook, and Skype.
How does Skateistan use S4D for
In Muslim societies, there are many rules against
female participation in sports. Skateboarding
new to Afghanistan, no ideas already in place
about it being forbidden
Skateistan has 40% female
students. How does it maintain
Skateistan communicates with religious and community
leaders to ensure accurate understanding of its
Skateistan has covered sport and skate facilities so girls
are free to play in private, away from public scrutiny.
Skateistan offers separate classes for boys and girls to
stay sensitive to cultural norms
Skateistan creates a safe space for girls by having all
female classes with female instructors.
Girls are given leadership opportunities
Girls are given safe transport to and from Skateistan
All staff are given Child Protection Policy training and
taught to respect
Skateistan keeps a female Student Support Officer on staff
to conduct household visits to serve as a liaison between
Skateistan and student families.