#IDSDP2017 Special: Citizen Profile: Farah* and Razia, Back-to-School (Kabul)
At Skateistan we believe in the power of skateboarding and other sports to change the world. Not only does sport provide a healthy activity but a supportive community to be part of.
“Sport promotes health and well-being. It fosters tolerance, mutual understanding and peace. … It empowers, inspires and unites.”
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
All of our programs involve skateboarding (or some sport) and education. In Afghanistan, our Back-to-School program provides the opportunity for children to access education, and in particular girls. Through this program many children find a route to enrolling in public school, which is a route to changing their futures. It’s a classroom based program but each week they get to skate, which is important for them and for skill building. In honor of International Day of Sport for Peace and Development, Educator Razia and former Back-to-School student Farah* tell us about the opportunities that Skateistan has provided them and other girls in Afghanistan…
My name is Razia and I am a Back-to-School Educator. This year I started working with Skateistan as an Educator for Skate and Create, but after my colleagues maternity leave, I became a Back-to-School Educator. This program has a different purpose for girls, not only does it provide enjoyment and fun but it has a serious goal to change the students lives in the future. They all come from a community that gives less value to girls, but I found that these girls love their lives and have a goal to break the traditions. They want to be people who will bring more good things to their lives on their own. I wish them all the success in life ahead!
My name is Farah* and I am 13 years old and I graduate from Bach-to-School. My friends told me about Skateistan when they heard about it from Educator Razia. She told us that Skateistan has opportunities for girls equal to boys. First I couldn’t really believe it and I told them that they are lying but they told me that she (Razia) will come back and take all of us to the place she was talking about. When I first saw Skateistan I was amazed, I had never seen such a place before! The first day when Treena (Educator) came to class and explained the program to us, she gave us some examples of previous girls who are now Youth Leaders, which amazed me even more. She told us if we study hard, we could create a beautiful future for ourselves!
After I’ve passed my exams I got enrolled in first grade of the Back-to-School program. I needed to be active because I am a teacher for children that aren’t enrolled at Skateistan and so I find it necessary to be more active and learn as much as possible, and I did it. Seeing my own progress strongly affected my self-confidence because now people know me as a bright student and people respect me for what I am capable of.
When I leave Skateistan and go to public school I will miss it because school will be an academic environment where everyone will be busy with their own business. I will try my best to become a bright student there too but let’s see what happens. I am also happy about it because it means that I am moving to a place where people want to study and become someone who is leading in the future!
My message to people who are not doing anything with their lives is to do sport and study hard because sport is important to have a healthier body which will create more patience for studying.
Join the Citizens of Skateistan, our global community, by donating $10 or more a month. You will be supporting our programs which provide children, like Farah*, with access to education and sport to become leaders that make a better world.
*Name changed in line with Child Protection Policy.