Skateistan Building a Skate School in JHB

Skateistan Skate School

Skateistan Skate School

The best thing about skating is that it keeps us away from the streets and drugs. – Happy, 12, Skateistan South Africa student

Over 100 students already participate in Skateistan South Africa’s regular programming and this number is growing every week. They now need a space of their own for the kids to learn and play! You can help them fund the creation of a safe learning center and skatepark in central Johannesburg by making a donation.

Scheduled to open in mid-2015, Skateistan South Africa’s skate school will be a safe space for ages 5-25, with a focus on girls, migrants and vulnerable youth.

So far they’ve raised 58,275 USD during the Keep Skateistan Rolling campaign. With your help they can reach our goal of 60,000 USD and continue to provide safe spaces and quality programming to over 1200 youth each week.

Your investment in Skateistan allows them to ensure their skate schools in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa are safe, inspiring environments for our students, especially the skater girls.

Click HERE to make a donation.

A Safe Space for At-Risk Youth

Skateistan Skate School

You have to think bigger than the streets. Think bigger than where you come from. – Ayanda Mnyandu, Skateistan South Africa Operations Officer

In South Africa, children under the age of 18 make up 37% of the population. Youth face a range of issues such as urban poverty, health issues (particularly related to HIV), lack of employment opportunities, social/racial divisions, and gender-based violence. In our focus area of central Johannesburg, young people, especially those from low income and migrant backgrounds, face violence, drug abuse, poor quality education, and social isolation.

Located on 990m2 of donated land in central Johannesburg, the skate school will include a containerized education and training center, together with an outdoor skateboard plaza (concept pictured above). Programming will run six days per week, with a capacity to teach up to 700 children weekly.

The learning center will feature a classroom, study lab, office, and multi-purpose rooftop space. Beside it will be an outdoor skate plaza (the only one in central Johannesburg). The entire space will reflect the creativity, inspiration and new opportunities for the youth.

Watch our new “Safe Spaces” video to see what Skateistan youth think about having a safe space to skate and learn. In a neighborhood that includes both a rundown, low-income industrial area and the growing artistic community of Maboneng, the Skateistan South Africa skate school promises to be a transformative and exciting space for youth coming from all walks of life.

The long-term vision is for the skate school to become a training hub for youth to create and lead their own community projects in South Africa and the continent.

What Your Donation Can Do

Every bit counts. To give you an idea of just what your donation can do, here are some examples:

$10 – Emergency first-aid supplies for student injuries

$50 – Monthly internet connection for student exchange programs

$100 – Wood to repair our mini ramp in Johannesburg each year

In-kind sponsorship to reduce costs. If you area able to provide shipping containers in South Africa please contact us at

#SafeSpaces – Because Every Kid Deserves It

Skateistan Safe Spaces Because Every Kid Deserves It

Over the month of December, Skateistan are hoping to raise $60 000 to help keep Skateistan rolling into next year. This is your chance to make a huge difference in the life of a child.

Why? It matters for kids to have safe places to play, especially those living in difficult circumstances or in a conflict situation. In places like Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa, the streets aren’t a safe place for children. We know the value of a warm meal and school supplies, but Skateistan’s programs provide all that and more. Children deserve more – they deserve a childhood. They deserve an escape from the realities and stresses of growing up in an extremely difficult setting.

Keep Skateistan Rolling!

Skateistan South Africa Footage: Wim Steytler ( All other footage courtesy of Skateistan.