South Africa

South Africa is one of the world’s most diverse countries, but it also remains one of the most unequal societies despite significant progress since the end of apartheid. Inequalities strongly correlate with race, and in central Johannesburg, extreme economic inequality within the city exposes young people from low-income backgrounds to social risks such as a lack of a quality education, violence and social isolation. Limited access to recreational facilities and quality education can also undermine children’s ability and desire to learn.

We have been active in the disadvantaged inner city of Johannesburg since early 2014, when we started running Outreach sessions in a previously abandoned skate bowl at a park in the neighborhood of Troyeville. In August 2016, we officially opened our fourth Skate School, located in downtown Johannesburg. The Skate School includes a state-of-the-art concrete skatepark and three-story education centre, with flexible office and classroom space.

Programs run five days a week in the afternoon for children to attend after they have been to public school. Girls-only sessions address the gender divide and give girls an equal opportunity to join in. We also run Outreach sessions in the Bjala Square park close to the Skate School. 

Lining up to skate
Regular students
Female
Low-income backgrounds
Students living with disabilities
Updates from South Africa
Skateistan’s Culture of Safety
At Skateistan we aim to put the safety of our staff and students first in everything we do. With the coronavirus situation changing rapidly around us, we thought it was the right time to share our approach to safety.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence
Skateistan works to empower women and girls through skateboarding and education. Near the end of 2019, Skateistan Skate Schools participated in the '16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence' to continue advocating on behalf of women and girls.
Curriculum Update: Concepts of Community in Act Local
We take a look back on our 'Act Local' curriculum, which helps students to understand their own role and potential within their communities.
Robin Rhode lends his creativity to Skateistan students
Renowned artist and Citizen of Skateistan Robin Rhode recently visited our Skate School in Johannesburg to help inspire the next generation of artists and skateboarders.
Inclusion in action: Skateistan and Special Olympics South Africa team up!
Recently, we piloted a partnership project with Special Olympics South Africa to bring the fun and freedom of skateboarding into the lives of children living with disabilities.
Safe to Express: This is Ethan
Meet Ethan, a 14 year old student at Skateistan in Johannesburg. Ethan was struggling at school and couldn't focus. His educators helped him to see what's important, and how to take steps to express himself through his skateboarding and dancing talents.
What Skateistan learned about...community engagement
Read the latest in our mini series about challenges we've faced and what we've learned from them. This time, we take a look at the power of community engagement.
Curriculum update: Natural Balance
Between April and July this year, our Skate and Create students were following the Natural Balance curriculum. Find out what they've been learning about!
10 Ways That Skateistan Celebrates Go Skateboarding Day
Skateistan celebrated Go Skateboarding Day all over the world. Students participated in a rad day of skating and fun with their communities.
Student Profile: Thabile's Story
Meet Thabile: A 9 year old girl who attends Skateistan in Johannesburg.