Three skates were enough to Oliver Percovich to start building a new life for children working on the streets and with no education. When he first went to Afghanistan, he realized the lack of opportunities for girls there, despite the recent wars and new government they are still lacking major civil rights we here in the U.S. take for granted. Girls and boys are rigidly segregated from one another there, but that all changed one day when he saw skateboarding being the way to bring them all together within their community.
Combining skateboarding and educational activities, Skateistan, this international non-governmental organization, provides children from all backgrounds a program that helps them to build trust, confidence and education.
It began as an idea in 2007 with the opening of the first skate park in Kabul, right after a tragic suicide attack in which the team ran out of four skateboards which made them even more determined to continue working hard to get every child one. Since they moved the headquarters to Berlin, it has helped not only to create a stable base, but also to have a place from which they can make connections among all their supporters around the world.
Nowadays, with projects located in Phnom Pehn, Johannesburg and two in Afghanistan, the organization will continue contributing to shared knowledge and creative thinking helping always to break the cycle of poverty and exclusion.