Cambodia has been peaceful for 30 years since the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. The legacy of the mass crimes against humanity is still present to this day through deep economic and social issues. Approximately 49% of the population are under 25. Major problems facing youth in Cambodia include child labour, exploitation, limited access to quality education, and discrimination within communities.
Skateistan Cambodia first began running programs in Phnom Penh in 2011. We offer free sports and non-formal education programs that benefit children aged 5–17, with a focus on girls, students from low socio-economic backgrounds, and children living with disabilities. We have a skatepark, a classroom, library, office and large green space. Skateistan has formed partnerships with local NGOs and schools who support children living with disabilities. We are partnered with the Krousar Thmey School for the Deaf and Blind, and staff also translate lesson plans into sign language. The benefits of skateboarding for children with disabilities are life-changing. The skatepark itself is an environment where children learn social skills, planning, goal setting and personal safety. Skateboarding provides an outlet for emotional regulation and body awareness.