Afghanistan has been in a protracted conflict for over four decades, which has hindered economic development and caused widespread poverty. Ongoing conflict in Afghanistan has led to limited educational opportunities and high rates of unemployment. Primary school completion rates are as low as 30% for girls. Women’s rights have become even more limited, making participation in civil society impossible.  A lack of employment possibilities is also an ongoing concern for women in Afghanistan. UN figures indicate that Afghanistan is classified in the top 10 toughest places for girls worldwide.

After running programs at the iconic Makroyan Fountain throughout 2008, Skateistan opened Schools across Afghanistan between 2009 and 2021, in collaboration with the Olympic Committee and local communities. Private spaces allowed Skateistan to create a female-first environment, including girls-only days. Skateistan Afghanistan supports the hardest to reach children, including child victims of exploitation and trafficking, children with disabilities, internally displaced people, nomadic communities, children of low-income families, street working children, and girls. Skateistan’s award-winning programs provide opportunities to children aged 5-17, especially girls, who not only learn the national school curriculum through our Back-to-School program, but valuable life skills that go beyond the classroom too. We are in Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif, and Bamyan. Skateistan also provides vocational training across Afghanistan through mechanics workshops.

Student Story: Farida* from Afghanistan

Farida, 14, lives in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp with her family in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. As a young girl, Farida never went to school and was unable to read and write. She recalls a time she lost her mother in the market and didn’t know what to do, how to ask for help or even read signs. 

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