Although Skateistan began as an Afghan NGO, it has become a worldwide phenomenon involving people all around the world.
Skateistan has approximately 40 staff worldwide, and dozens more volunteers.
Founder & Executive Director
Oliver Percovich first skated in an empty pool at the age of six, while growing up in Papua New Guinea. In 1995 he competed in the Mystic Cup, an international skateboarding contest in Prague. He's worked at the Center for Risk and Community Safety on emergency management projects for various Australian government departments. He came to Kabul in February 2007, bringing his skateboards with him.
Oliver can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brandon Gomez started skateboarding when he was 14 years old. Originally from the Philadelphia area, he earned a B.S. in Communications Media from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and recently obtained his Masters in Media Studies from Syracuse University. He has also worked with children of all ages for years. Since June 2011 he has been pushing the students in the skatepark and providing project direction in Kabul and Cambodia.
Brandon is Kabul-based: email@example.com or +93 785 733 739
Rhianon arrived at Skateistan in Kabul as a volunteer in May 2010 and is now the Development Director, as well as occasional skateboarding instructor. She has spent several years as a magazine writer, copy editor and freelance journalist in Vancouver, Canada. She holds a diploma in Journalism, a B.A. in Political Science with International Relations (Hons.), and has been a skateboarder for over 15 years.
Rhianon is currently Berlin-based: firstname.lastname@example.org or +49 (30) 914 921 01
Claire grew up in Wellington, New Zealand but also spent parts of her childhood in Germany and the United States. At University Claire gained a Bachelor of Commerce (Accountancy) and a Bachelor of Arts (German) before working as an Accountant for a public practice. After obtaining her Chartered Accountancy, Claire left New Zealand to explore overseas. In February 2012 she joined the Skateistan team after settling in Berlin, where she has taken over the position of Financial Officer.
Claire is Berlin-based and can be contacted at email@example.com or +49 (30) 914 921 01
Rory comes to Skateistan from California, USA and has served as a collegiate lacrosse coach for the last eight years at Chapman University, where he recently earned a Masters Degree in International Studies, focusing on sport for development projects worldwide. Originally from Colorado, Rory has been involved in skateboarding since childhood. He put to use his coaching and teaching skills firstly as a volunteer at Skateistan Cambodia in 2010/2011, and now works as the HR Director for Skateistan International.
Rory is Kabul-based and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org or +93 785 979 344
Duncan grew up skating the rain soaked granite streets of North East Scotland. He studied Astronomy and Physics at the University of Glasgow and obtained his PhD in Theoretical Particle Physics in 2009. Duncan first became involved in Skateistan once he moved to Berlin in 2011. In July he became a volunteer at Skateistan Kabul, helping with his impressive knowledge of media to get the stories of Skateistan out there.
Duncan can be contacted at email@example.com or +49 (30) 914 921 01
Erika first became involved with Skateistan as a volunteer in Afghanistan for the second half of 2010. A skateboarder since 2004, she put her management and skateboard skills to use in Kabul as Education Coordinator. Since leaving Afghanistan she has volunteered with Skateistan e.V in Germany and in July 2012 became the worldwide Fundraising Coordinator. Born in Canada, she is currently living in Berlin, Germany, working on a M.A in English Language, Literature and Culture at the Freie Universitaet Berlin.
Erika is Berlin-based and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Manuel became a part of the Skateistan team shortly after the HQ settled in Berlin. He grew up in Bavaria, but moved to Berlin in order to study Computer Engineering. Prior to that he lived in Australia for one year where he worked in the IT department of an educational institution. In the years before he worked for big businesses, so working for Skateistan is a totally new and joyful experience. Manuel uses his skills and knowledge to maintain and develop different IT-related projects.
Manuel is Berlin-based and can be contacted at email@example.com
Office Assistant (Intern)
Jasmin was born and raised in Berlin, Germany, and joined Skateistan’s international team in April 2013 as Office Assistant. She recently graduated from the Free University of Berlin with a B.A. in North American Studies, and has worked with children for the last couple of years as an English instructor. Jasmin has also spent a year abroad studying in Montana, USA, which is why winter sports and hiking are now among her favorite activities.
Jasmin is Berlin-based and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or +49 (30) 914 921 01.
|Abdul Qudos Amini
Operations Manager - Afghanistan
Abdul was born in Pakistan and grew up in the Jowzjan province of Afghanistan. He recently acquired his Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) from the National Institute of Management and Administration in Kabul. He began volunteering with Skateistan in December 2009 and now works as our Country Manager.
Abdul can be contacted at email@example.com or +93 796 292 012
Aryana was born in Kabul and currently has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Educational Sciences from Kabul University. She started in October 2011 as the Education Coordinator’s Assistant and head of our Back-To-School program, and is now the Programs Officer. She loves her work at Skateistan, being able to help the children of Kabul look towards a brighter future.
Aryana can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finance & HR Officer
Mariam was born in Kabul and grown up in Pakistan. She studied Psychology and Educational Sciences in Kabul University. She used to work as a project accountant and administrator in a company. Although she began as a volunteer in early 2011, she started working at Skateistan in May 2012 because of her great interest in the program. She is very keen about skateboarding, as well as cricket.
Mariam can be contacted at email@example.com
Treena was born in Kabul, she holds a BA degree in Psychology from Kabul University. She can drive bravely in any part of Afghanistan. She is working as the Education Assistant at Skateistan and is running the Back to School program successfully. She joined Skateistan in May 2012 for her deep interest in sport and especially using sport for Afghan youth empowerment.
Treena can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fatima was born in Kabul on December 3, 1963 and has lived there all her life. She completed grade 12 at Inqlab high school. Fatima has worked as a teacher since 2003 and was hired in May 2011 as Skateistan's Student Support Officer. She recruits, registers, teaches, and supervises Skateistan's students. She is the family and community liaison. She says "I feel very comfortable with Skateistan, and with the job I have I am also trying to help the poor kids so I am always in touch with their families."
To register at Skateistan, contact Fatima at +93 774 713 195
Maintenance Manager and Skate Instructor
Merza has been skateboarding for nearly five years and is now one of Afghanistan’s most talented skaters. He’s been working at the Skateistan park as a skate instructor and since January 2010 and became the maintenance manager in summer 2011. He comes from Shamoli, Afghanistan.
Skate Instuctor and Maintenance Crew
Born and raised in Kabul, Hanifa has been skateboarding since 2010 and has been with the Skateistan team since 2011, firstly as a volunteer and then as staff. Hanifa is 14 years old and has currently completed school up until the fourth grade. She is very keen on teaching skateboarding to her peers. She hopes to become a better skateboarder and continue working with Skateistan in the future.
Skate Instructor and Maintenance Crew
Noorzai first started skating over four years ago at Mekroyan fountain. He now has the best kickflip in Kabul and spends his days working as a skate instructor and helping with skatepark maintenance. Before becoming employed in July 2010, he volunteered regularly and says his favourite things about Skateistan are the atmosphere and the friendly people. Noorzai was born in the Kapisa province of Afghanistan.
Skate and Classroom Instructor
Madina's dream is to one day be a pilot, but for now she is very happy to learn new skills as a teacher for her peers in the Skateistan classrooms and skatepark. The 14-year-old has been skating since 2010 and began working with Skateistan in early 2012. She also runs her own market stall at a Women's Market in Kabul that happens each month, putting her excellent English skills to good use. Madina is also a top student at her school and was the youngest presenter at the TEDxKabul event in 2012.
Tamana is from Kabul and has been attending Skateistan since June 21, 2010, when she joined our Annual Go Skateboarding Day event with her younger sister and later registered as a student. She's known for her speed on a skateboard and infectious laugh. Tamana is 12 years old and has been volunteering as a skate instructor since summer 2012.
Project Management and Videographer
Originally from Austria, Mark now lives in Hamburg, Germany. Mark started skating at age 12. He is currently studying Media Technology and recently spent three months running a TV studio in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. He came on as a project volunteer for Skateistan in Kabul in June 2012. Mark will be assisting with the opening of the Mazar-e-Sharif facility and will do video production.
Mark can be contacted at email@example.com
Programs & Development Officer
Talia arrived at Skateistan in Phnom Penh in September of 2012. She holds a diploma in Journalism, and a BA in Development Studies from the University of Calgary. She has several years experience doing public health outreach for youth and adults and running a volunteer program with a non-profit in her hometown of Calgary, Canada. She has also coached gymnastics for youth of all ages. She discovered skateboarding when she was 14 and is excited to apply her experience to her role with Skateistan.Talia can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or +855(0) 89 47 63 81
Operations Manager - Phnom Penh
Benji has been working in Cambodia for over four years now as a public relations and events manager for a an international NGO working with street children. He graduated with a higher technical marketing degree in Toulouse, France, in 2001. He was the first to bring skateboarding to a Cambodian school, in 2011. Born in France, he has been skating in Marseille for 10 years.
All general inquiries about the Skateistan Cambodia project should be directed to Benji, who can be contacted at: email@example.com or +855 (0) 77 367 227
Chada was born in Cambodia and graduated in Business Administration at the NGO PSE in 2010. He is now working as the Operations Officer for Skateistan Cambodia. He says: “I am the first person who was interested in skateboarding in Cambodia but I have just been skating since the beginning of 2011 in Phnom Penh City. Through skateboarding I would like to help street children, I want to give them hope both in education and in sport.”
Chada can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or +855 (0) 12 691 054
Alix grew up in Ontario, Canada and arrived in Cambodia in August of 2012 as a Skateistan volunteer. She holds an undergraduate degree in International Development with a focus on environmental issues at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. She has worked with children of all ages in a variety of sports, and has been lucky enough to travel extensively in Canada, the US, and throughout Latin America. Alix has been skateboarding since 2006.
Alix can be contacted at email@example.com or +855(0) 78 40 00 19
|Kov Chan Sang Va (Tin)
Skate and Programs Assistant
Sang Va was born in Cambodia and graduated from Derm Tkov high school in 2012. She is the Skate and Programs Assistant for Skateistan Cambodia. She began as a Skateistan student at a partner NGO called Tiny Toones. She says, “she is very happy that she can skateboard and work for Skateistan Cambodia and its focus on using skateboarding.” She really enjoys working with Skateistan and wants to help give street children a chance to do skateboarding in Cambodia.
Sang Va can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org or +855 (0)70 817676
Chansopheakna (Pheakna) was born in Cambodia. He graduated from PSE, majoring in Construction in 2012. He is now a Skate, Breakdance and DJ instructor at Skateistan Cambodia. He had been involved in Skateboarding since 2011 through PSE. He said,
Chansopheakna can be contacted at email@example.com or +855 (0) 89 953 154
Nup started with Skateistan In September 2012, when we first opened the doors to the new park and facility. Having never stood on a board before, he took full advantage of his access to the skatepark and quickly taught himself how to skate. Now he’s assisting with teaching classes, and on any given day Nup might be found helping the kids in the art class, registering new students, and pushing himself and the students in the park.
Skateistan has volunteers all around the world providing help with fundraising, legal, design, web and more. If you'd like to get involved with helping Skateistan from your own country check if there are others below that you can contact from your area. If you want to start fundraising in a country that isn't included on this page, or have a skateboarding-development project that needs support, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Henrik Bjelke Hansen
Henrik got involved with Skateistan in 2008 when he was writing his master’s thesis in Afghanistan. Among other things he provided advice on organization, budgeting and strategy. He is currently based in Denmark where he has founded a national Skateistan entity that is organizing a series of grant-scale fundraising events (www.skateistan.dk).
Henrik can be contacted at email@example.com or +45 22 37 30 40
Simon arrived in Afghanistan in February 2010 and worked as a volunteer with Skateistan for one year. Simon has worked as a journalist, publisher and art director for eight years in Paris, where he now lives again since leaving Kabul. His goal is to connect Western European media with Skateistan. He has been skating for over 15 years.
Simon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Alexandra Bald & Ana Lessing
Artistic Directors, Board of Directors
Alexandra and Ana are Berlin-based designers and artists supporting Skateistan since the early days. They are Skateistan´s artistic directors and part of the Berlin-based art and design collective C-D-A-P.
They can be contacted at email@example.com or +49 162 130 66 19
Board of Directors, Chairman
Markus helped found the German Skateistan association in 2009 on the request of Skateistan's Deputy Director, Max Henninger. When Sonja Eller resigned in 2011 Markus took over as chairman in the German entity. As an online-journalist he helps to keep the German website alive.
Markus can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joel initiated the project Skate to Kabul with the goal of connecting Swiss youth with the kids of Skateistan. In autumn 2010 Joel spent six weeks in Kabul, working with the kids on the exchange and doing photography/video for Skateistan. Joel is studying interaction‐management / post‐industrial design at the University of Applied Science in Basel.
Joel can be contacted about how to support Skateistan from Switzerland at email@example.com.
|Søren Vester Haldrup
Søren is one of Skateistan’s veteran volunteers, and has been involved since 2009. In Copenhagen, Denmark, he helped coordinate some of Skateistan’s most successful fundraisers in 2010, which raised approximately 100,000 USD. Søren has an MSc in Theory and History of International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is currently living in Copenhagen doing a master’s degree in political science. He visited Kabul in January 2011, and recently helped Skateistan achieve charitable status in the United Kingdom where he is currently a representative.
Søren can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
United States of America
|Kristoffer Nilaus Tarp
US Board President
Kristoffer became involved with Skateistan while working for the European Union in Afghanistan as a political advisor. He organized the incredibly successful fundraising event at the Copenhagen Skatepark in February this year that raised approximately $60,000 USD towards the building of our first facility.
Kristoffer can be contacted at email@example.com
US Board Member
Niki is from Gary, Indiana, USA, and volunteered at Skateistan in Kabul from December 2010 until May 2011 as a teacher and Media Assistant. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in Cinema & Television production and has lived in Los Angeles for the past 13 years working for companies such as DreamWorks SKG, and Nickelodeon/MTV Networks. She also started an organization that uses the filmmaking process as a form of art therapy.
Niki can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
US Board Member
Morgan is originally from Jupiter, Florida and is currently pursuing a B.F.A. in Photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She volunteered with Skateistan in Kabul in 2011 as an Art & Sports Coordinator. She has been skating for twelve years and has also played and coached football for many years. Morgan's an experienced event organizer and a pro at anything DIY (Do-It-Yourself).
US Board Member
Ray has been working in Afghanistan for several years. While working with one of Skateistan's partner companies in Afghanistan, Ray was introduced to the team at Skateistan and quickly became a supporter of the project. Orginally from New England, Ray is now an acting board member of the Skateistan U.S. entity, helping however he can in both the states and Kabul.
In Memory of Khalid, who will never be forgotten.