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. 

The Skate School is located at 32 Van Beek Street, New Doornfontein and you can reach them on +27 11 027 5821. 

Lining up to skate
Regular students
Female
Low-income backgrounds
Students living with disabilities
Updates from South Africa
Curriculum Update: Life skills vision board
In the Skate and Create program in Johannesburg, Skateistan educators introduced students to the life skills vision board lesson plan. A vision board is a collage of images and words representing a person's wishes or goals.
Curriculum update: Learning to balance
Skateistan is all about balance. Whether that’s on a skateboard, a sense of mental wellbeing and stability or combining learning with fun times.
Skateistan Johannesburg: A Simple Path | Insight TV | Vans
Skateistan South Africa features in ep 2 of 'A Simple Path' on Insight TV. Check out the Skateistan section here - made possible by Vans.
Back on Board: Meet Lesedi
Lesedi says he felt terrible when the Skate School closed because of lockdown. Now he's Back on Board and feeling awesome!
Mind Power: Building techniques for mental wellbeing with Waves 4 Change
To meet the needs of students as they grow older, we offer a mental health curriculum called Mind Power, first introduced to our team and students in South Africa.
Skateistan Alumni: Ntlanzeko's story
We are very excited to publish the first in a group of stories from Skateistan's Alumni Network. The Alumni Network is a new project, which connects our former students with each other, shares opportunities and celebrates their success.
Celebrating Heritage Day in South Africa
Heritage is something to be proud of. At our Skate School in Johannesburg, children celebrate their own heritage and learn about the cultures and traditions of other groups.
What Skateistan learned about: running remote programs during a global pandemic
In our series ‘What Skateistan learned about’, we share stories, successes and challenges from the perspective of a non-profit organization operating in Afghanistan, South Africa and Cambodia.
Coping with Covid: A view from Johannesburg
Covid-19 has affected people differently all over the world. In this post, we talk to Enos, a Skateistan Educator in South Africa, to get the word on how things have played out in Johannesburg.
Girls unite! Announcing our new partnership with Global Girl Project
We're very excited to announce that we'll soon be working with Global Girl Project; a special partnership that will empower older girls at our Skate Schools in Afghanistan and South Africa.