Flicking through Instagram, the one and only Tony Hawk pointed us towards Skateistan; a brilliant initiative combining skating and schooling in Afghanistan...
So there we were, casually flicking through Tony Hawk's Instagram, as one does while they're supposed to be working, when we came across a post of his featuring some veiled Afghani girls on skateboards. What are veiled Afghani girls doing on skateboards, you ask? Well let us tell you.
NGO Skateistan, set up shop in the war ravaged country in 2007, and is a non-profit initiative that combines skateboarding with education. It has since flourished from a small project to an award-winning initiate, which not only provides marginalised kids with a place to practice the unlikely sport but also functions as a school where students can learn everything from basic reading and writing skills to advanced computer courses. The programme, founded by Oliver Percovich, now has a student body comprised of 40% girls. The Australian founder started out with just a few skateboards, but the NGO has now grown to the extent that it has received government contributions from a variety of countries including Germany and Canada. We're not entirely sure what compelled this guy to randomly move to a war-torn country and start up a skate school, but well done you. It now provides a safe environment for children across Kabul to learn a nifty sport and be provided with an education.
In a country where women aren’t even allowed to ride bicycles., skateboarding has flown under the radar, being a relatively new concept and has attracted droves of girls. We must admit, it's pretty kickass. Breaking gender barriers in a country where you would literally, least expect it. Can you imagine Egyptian women just casually skateboarding down the Corniche?