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 to facilitate relationship building among youth of different cultural, socioeconomic, and ethnic backgrounds, there must be common interests, spaces that are accessible to a diversity of backgrounds, and an environment of trust and respect.
Throughout South Africa extreme economic inequality exposes young people from low-income backgrounds to social risks such as: lack of a quality education and violence, especially gender-based violence. Children living in low income areas have limited access to safe youth friendly spaces.
Since 2014, Skateistan has worked across South Africa and has a permanent school in Johannesburg, complete with a concrete skatepark, offices and several classrooms. 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.