Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Skateboarding Toward a Better Future in Afghanistan

There's a place in Afghanistan where kids are learning how to ollie, as well as how to build for their country's future. It's called Skateistan and it was started by aid workers wanting to share their love of skateboarding with Afghan children.

"Skateistan builds on the positive interactions that kids experience through skateboarding and we also build in education," says Sharna Nolan, Skateistan's co-founder. "We expose our students to a whole range of new ideas and new subjects that are typically under-resourced in Afghan regular schooling."

Despite the NGO's foreign aid roots, Skateistan doesn't rely on foreign assistance money. It sells logo-branded products, accepts donations, and partners with private organizations, such as the local telecom company that provides Internet service to Skateistan offices. Also, the organization gets a lot of direction from the Afghan kids they work with. As co-founder Oliver Percovich told Fast Company magazine late last year, "It's really important to be consulting with the people you're working with. It's important to ask people what they want."

This story is part of our Wednesday ViewChange video series.


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From the day we are born, we are facing--like it or not--a dying experience, in future time, be it a week, month or century. Some see death as the enemy, a twisted enemy that wants to shatter us like glass if only it could get a hold, a grip on us.

Without warning, death comes to thousands of earthlings each day, every second of the day, for a variety of reasons. People die in natural disasters as well as in war, we see this in the media, the newspapers, television, radio, in all forms of reporting, it comes to us daily. Rich and poor alike must face this sooner or later. In the Army I saw people die, and now being older, many of my loved ones are dead, the older I get the more death I witness on the road of life; yes, around me death is cluttering.

When a country enters a conflict whether internal or external to suffer most are the poor and children. Who is to blame or who assumes this responsibility?, Anyone! One will say that their reasons are correct while others justify violence. Our kids just want to live in peace under the tutelage of a family to forge a future for generations.
My admiration is those people who share their love of skateboarding with Afghan children. Go ahead, do not faint spirit.

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