Skateistan, an innovative NGO in Kabul founded to empower Afghan children (and especially young girls), teaches children to skateboard as a gateway to get them more involved in education. In a tribute to these children’s struggles, UK-based photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson created a photo series portraying the girls learning to skateboard at the NGO’s branch in Kabul (it has since spread to Cambodia and South Africa).

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In many Afghan communities, it is customary to forbid women from riding bicycles. Skateboarding, then, becomes an empowering activity that gives these girls a source of physical exercise, empowerment, and some plain and simple fun.

More info: | | (h/t: featureshoot)

In Afghanistan, many girls are forbidden to ride bicycles

The Skateistan organization empowers girls through skateboarding

Over 50% of their students are streetworking children and over 40% of them are girls

Skateboarding gives them a fun activity that empowers them and serves as a gateway to other engagements, like education

Jessica Fulford-Dobson’s photos capture the joy these girls feel while skateboarding…

…and their new-found sense of empowerment

Skateistan was founded in 2007 by Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich

Since then, it has spread to Cambodia and South Africa as well

On September 8th, 2012, 4 members of Skateistan were killed in a suicide bombing at a NATO facility in Kabul

But even such tragedies haven’t stopped these children from enjoying the playtime that they deserve