Skateistan, which operates in Afghanistan, is an organization like few others. The name might have given you a clue – its staff is focused on bringing recreation to a population touched by war. Most notably, it created the first co-educational skateboarding school in the country. Through this, it seeks to fight discrimination based on gender or ethnicity. From the ages of five to 19, all are welcome to benefit from the skateboarding and educational programming Skateistan provides. The organization’s success has exceeded all expectations: Skateistan estimates that its Kabul facility currently sees over 15,000 participants a year, of which approximately 40 percent are girls, and 50 percent street children.
Skateistan is not new to celebrating International Peace Day on 21 September. Indeed, plans are underway for a fourth consecutive year of special activities. This is the first time, however, that it has done so as part of a NGO coalition coordinated by Peace One Day and Interpeace.
Next month, the organization will host many creative projects in its Kabul facility. These include students designing t-shirts, producing a spray painted mural on the theme of peace, and even a skateboarding demonstration by Skateistan's Afghan students and teachers.
The day will conclude with the release of balloons inscribed with student wishes, based around the notion “when there is peace in Afghanistan I will _________.”
For Skateistan, observing Peace Day and participating in the Global Truce NGO Coalition has strong meaning, directly aligning with the organization’s core objective of “build[ing] trust and understanding between youth of all ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, genders and nationalities.”
When The Global Journal asked about the impact of Skateistan’s activities on global peace, a representative concluded: “sports are a great way of achieving this, and [we] think that sharing passions is the best way of uniting people around the world.”
Photo © Skateistan - Peace day 2010
Interpeace is a leading international non-profit organization dedicated to building lasting peace in post-conflict societies.
Peace One Day is an international non-profit organization with the objective to raise awareness of the International Day of Peace that occurs on the 21 September each year by promoting a Global Truce.
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