Oliver Percovich moved to Afghanistan from Australia in 2007 when his girlfriend took a job in Kabul. Bored, he would skate the beleaguered city, and became a sort of pied half-piper, attracting street kids that would follow him around and ask for rides. Skateistan, which started as an Afghan NGO, has since become an international nonprofit, offering both skating and general education classes for over 400 boys and girls.
Using skateboarding as a hook to reach out to youth, Skateistan focuses on providing street children of all ethnicities with educational opportunities, empowering young boys and girls, and providing a space for educational and social change.
The school will be opening a second facility in Mazar-e-Sharif this year, which will incorporate recycled shipping containers into a three-story educational building. The new structure will enable Skateistan to grow from 400 students to 1,400 each week.
“This is creating a huge opportunity for more Afghan girls to access education and a safe place to build confidence,” Percovich says. “If the sheer scale of the project doesn't stun, the building itself should.”
Also in the works this year, Percovich will be seeking out a long-term corporate partner or foundation aligned with Skateistan’s core principles, which will allow the organization to reinforce and spread its roots globally. He will also release a new book, Skateistan: A Tale of Skateboarding in Afghanistan.
Percovich asks the GOOD community to share Skateistan’s seven short “Keep Skateistan Rolling” videos, which feature the behind the scenes workings of Skateistan.
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