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).

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