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What is Skateistan Afghanistan: Before I refer you to their website which tells you a whole lot more I can sum it up in a couple sentences. Skateistan is a NGO set up to help children in Kabul (and now also in Maszar) to help children who either ...

How I’m going to raise the donation: ROWING A MARATHON FOR SKATISTAN IN AFGHANISTAN:

Well my good mate Nick Suter and I decided to aim to hit the indoor rower this year (as I cant run here in Kabul) with the aim to complete a Indoor Rowing marathon before I leave Afghanistan at the end of November.If you have no idea what I mean when I say "row a marathon" go to this link and read about indoor rowing.

We have been both training hard, I have completed just shy of 700,000 meters since May 2013 in preparation and Nick has done just shy of 600,000 meters. I have completed three half Marathons and ready to try to complete the big one on 8th November.

So I encourage you to sponsor me between 1 and 42 dollars to tie in with the 42.195 km that I will row in hopefully around 3:05 hrs to 3:10.  (you can sponsor me more if you want)

Thanks so much for your donation. All proceeds (minus this webistes cut of 5%) will be handed over to the NGO here in Kabul and will directly help support the children of this program.


Graham Duggan

The Cause:

Who is or what is Skateistan Afghanistan:

Before I refer you to thier website which tells you a whole lot more, I can sum it up in a couple sentences.

Skateistan is a NGO set up to help children in Kabul (and now also in Maszar) to help children who work on the streets of Kabul or who come from very poor families who cannot afford to send them (especially girls) to school. Skateistan offers them a opportunity to gain a education while also having fun by learning how to skateboard and develop other important life skills. The NGO provides them with a reintroduction to education so they can re-enter the public school system. A special focus is on the inclusion of girls into their program which make up 40% of participants.

ICRC (via me) undertook to teach some basic First Aid Classes with the organisation early this year and I was able to visit their facility and see the type of work they do, which is really fantastic.

A side note from me: Skateboarding is 'special' to me as my parents know, as this sport cost them many thousands of dollars in expensive dental treatment for thhier son when he was 11 years old. As my wise mother would not allow me to own a skateboard I eventually found one at a friends house but didn’t know how to skateboard so decided to ride one on my stomach and promptly used my teeth as breaks on the footpath with very messy, predicable and expensive result. So in honour of my love of the sport I plan is to raise some money for the students (if possible for the female students) to help with school fees and education costs.

Here is a blurb from their website:

Considering the country’s recent political history — not to mention its longstanding social barriers — Skateistan believes that the community-building effects of skateboarding are especially powerful in Afghanistan. Operating as an Afghan NGO, Skateistan builds cross-cultural understanding and develops youth confidence, leadership, and life skills.
With 68% of the population under the age of 25 (and 50% under the age of 16), it is vital that development efforts in Afghanistan engage with youth immediately, especially providing opportunities for young Afghan girls.

Here is a pretty cool video from thier website:

Here is another really great but longer video about Skateistan and what they do in Afghanistan. Also provides great shots of life on the streets of Kabul.


And finally the below is my personal favourite. It is a short film that really tipifies what Skateistan does in Kabul and why I would like to raise money for this excellent oranisation. Really recommend waching the short film as it is both moving and informative of what life is like for many in Kabul. It is titled Through my Eyes - Faranas:


For those who dont have time to go to Skatistans website here are two important programs they run:

Back To School Program

"Back to School" (BTS) is a 12-month program started by Skateistan in 2009 for street working children, refugees, and girls in Kabul, Afghanistan. Recent literacy statistics for Afghan youth aged 15-24 reveal that 49% of young men and only 18% of young women are literate.

Skateistan's Back To School program is divided into three semesters, with each semester being four months long. During each semester students study the equivalent of one grade of school, coming to Skateistan five days a week. The goal of the program is to get children in Afghanistan enrolled or re-enrolled into the public school system. Upon completion of the program students can apply for enrolment into a government school, usually entering the 3rd or 4th grade.

So far 103 Afghan children have been enrolled into school through the program so far, nearly half of them Afghan girls. Each day, 40 youth (20 girls, 20 boys) attend the Back to School program in Kabul, with a similar program planned for the Skateistan facility in Mazar-e-Sharif.

Group Photo off Skateistan Website



Skateboarding provides a valuable platform of expression, creativity and self-development for children of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Using skateboarding as a tool for youth development, young people are able to have fun and engage positively with one another.

Skateistan runs skateboard lessons for girls and boys each day, with peer skate instructors and student volunteers leading the instruction of students. All skateboard lessons are paired with a 1-hour Arts-Based Education workshop to further build on the confidence and friendships realized in the skatepark.

The novelty of skateboarding in both Afghanistan and Cambodia is hugely successful at engaging with youth of all backgrounds, and appeals particularly to girls, who are often socially excluded from participating in traditional sports like football.

She looks happier than I did after trying Skateboarding


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