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The year 2022 will go down in history and since February 24th the world will never be the same again: Russia's army invaded Ukraine. As completely absurd and improbable as that sounded and still sounds, it’s reality. We, skate-aid, as a non-profit association, whose motto "We empower kids" suddenly stands in a completely different context, reacted immediately.
As part of the skate-aid Across the Bo(a)rders - "Skatepark in a Box" - Container Project, we’ve already set up 2 containers with skate park elements and skate stuff in Berlin-Tegel and in Balti in the Republic of Moldova. Here, refugee and partly traumatized kids can borrow skateboards and safety gear in the containers and skate together with our skate-aid coaches, have fun and forget a little bit their difficult situation.
Berlin-Tegel Airport, which had been closed in 2020, currently functions as the largest arrival center for refugees in Germany. Regular skating has been taking place there since November 2022.
Approximately 380,000 refugees who have entered Moldova since the start of the war, pose an enormous challenge, given the country's population of nearly 2.6 million and in addition to the overall threat situation.
Our skate-aid coaches started the pedagogical program with the containers set up, while also training local coaches. They took over in October 2022 and continue the project on site on their own responsibility with the support of skate-aid. Further container locations are being planned.
As early as 2021, the "Stiftung RTL-Wir helfen Kindern e.V." foundation, with the support of actor Wotan Wilke Möhring as project sponsor at the RTL Spendenmarathon, granted us a project that involves setting up mobile skate parks at five locations in NRW and offering regular skateboarding workshops there for a year, including an extra vacation program. Two containers have already been set up:
-The first location was opened on the Kölnberg in Cologne-Meschenich, one of Cologne's biggest social hotspots, with no existing facilities for children and young people. Here, kids can borrow skateboards and safety gear two days a week in the container and skate and have fun.
-In Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler. The area was hit hard by flooding in 2021. A skate park is to be built here in 2023 and we want to use the container to bridge the interim period. That’s a total of 4 containers so far.
Other locations were already being explored, but, as we said, current developments have led us to select the remaining locations according to a different criterion: Where can we currently support refugee children and youth from Ukraine? In this sense...We empower kids!
In March 2022 we celebrated the grand opening of our newest skate-aid skate park in Butwal/Nepal. With countless kids, volunteers, Titus, our architect Ralf and the whole team. In total, over 30 volunteers, guided by our project manager Gabu, spent about 4 months building the skate park. Following the principle of a participatory construction site, many of the local volunteers worked with concrete for the first time and learned a lot in the process. Seen from above, the skate park has the shape of our logo and is multifunctional. By October, 234 workshops had been held, with a total of over 2000 kids participating, with 38% women. The skate park has been very well received and is also a playground, place of culture and especially a safe place for the kids who want one thing above all: Skateboarding! A huge thank you to all helpers, donors, the team of skate-aid Nepal, the construction team and all supporters who made this great project possible. HERE you can find the picture gallery!
Like almost every year by now we can say: A lot has happened in Kitinale/Uganda! This year we were able to expand the skate park with a miniramp, a plaza and the construction of a "library", an educational building with an integrated library and computers, is in its final stages. The IBS Foundation has built a climate-friendly volunteer house on the initiative of the locals. Thus, the skate park will live up to its growing role as a community center and we will be able to offer the kids more activities that go beyond skateboarding. For this purpose, we have decided to establish skate-aid Uganda together. So, we can support the skateboard culture in Uganda beyond Kitintale and Kampala and make sure that this project will be self-sufficient in the long run. There is still a lot going on...we’ll keep you updated!
We’re happy about our new partner Takko, who will release the first kids’ collection in spring 2023, which was created in close coordination with us. Of course, the graphics on the shirts, hoodies, caps etc. are all about skateboarding. Not only does the collection look great, but from each item sold, a portion of the proceeds will go towards our work and worldwide projects. Thanks to the Takko team for the great collaboration. We can't wait to see the stuff in Takko stores and on the streets. Watch out!
Hard to believe, but for 7 years there are already the "Westenergie x skate-aid" workshops! In 2022, a total of 29 workshops have taken place during the summer and fall vacations, from Lower Saxony to the whole of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, with over 16,000 kilometers driven and over 1000 participants. For everyone there was a new own skateboard, which was assembled by themselves. Skateboarding overcomes boundaries! From the beginner, who can still barely hold on to the board, to the advanced, who continue to hone new tricks...everyone has fun together! For each participant, the skate-aid coaches are always on hand with tips and tricks. At the end of the day, everyone was thrilled with their progress. A sense of achievement at their own pace and self-determined.
Fabian Jenditza, skate-aid coach: "The greatest thing about our workshops is to look into the kids' beaming eyes when, after hours of falling down and getting up again, they achieve the goals they set themselves and manage to do newly learned tricks.
This fantastic feeling when you manage to overcome your limits and fears is just great!" Many thanks to the coaches, Westenergie and its community partners, the local youth centers and all those involved who made this success possible. Here's to a successful 2023 season!
Since 2019 we visit many schools every year with our mobile skate park and mobile miniramp. The feedback from kids and teachers is impressive and the demand is therefore high. We have a long waiting list and to be even better equipped for the next years, we have invested and built a new miniramp. Even better...even bigger and even more sophisticated in its handling. We can hardly wait to inaugurate it and to empower more kids with our workshops. By the way, you can also rent the miniramp for your own and/or private purposes. Info and requests at email@example.com
Our new skate-aid Mag no.12 is here!
It offers an exciting insight into our work and our worldwide projects. Pick up a free copy at our skate-aid store in Münster, or check out the magazine as a flip book HERE: