I will be volunteering in Palestine for the month of September 2018 with the charity SkatePal. I will be helping teach skateboarding to the local young people and help with the maintenance of the skatepark built by the charity in 2015, situated in the northern West Bank village of Asira Al-Shamaliya. I will also be documenting my trip through photography, hoping to give insight to those back home about Palestinian life and help promote SkatePal's cause!
I need to raise £200 as a minimum for SkatePal, to help them accommodate the volunteers while staying in Palestine, help with maintenance of the skatepark there, and buy skate and safety equipment for the local kids. All further donations will go towards my flights and/or back to the charity
SkatePal is a non-profit organisation that works with communities throughout Palestine to enhance the lives of young people and promote the benefits of skateboarding.
Since 2013, our ongoing presence and award-winning projects have reached hundreds of young people across the West Bank and won acclaim and recognition from supporters around the world.
We are run by a committed team of local and international volunteers who, through teaching skate classes, building skateparks and providing equipment, are enabling an ever-growing number of Palestinian skaters to empower themselves and inspire the next generation of Palestinian youth
• More than half of all Palestinians living in the occupied territories are under 21 years old, yet there are relatively few opportunities for young people to participate in sporting activities.
• The nature of the Israeli occupation means that many children get caught up in the conflict, and often spend their teenage years behind bars. Childhood comes to an end much sooner, and young people are forced to become adults at an earlier age than elsewhere in the world.
• The occupation has bred a feeling of powerlessness and disillusionment, particularly amongst young people in Palestine. Providing opportunities to have fun within the safety of their local community is critical in order for young people to lead an enjoyable life within the occupied territories, where movement is very restricted.
• In a part of the world where rights to ownership of land are such a key issue, the act of skateboarding and building permanent skateparks has particular significance.
• Palestinian skateboarders do not have access to the professionally-built skate facilities that exist all over Israel. Furthermore, they cannot visit any of the multiple skateboard shops which are on the Israeli side of the wall.
• Skateboarding is one of the most inclusive sports in the world. It instantly dissolves barriers between class, race, age and gender. Skateboarding engages youth, relieves stress and helps to build confidence.
• Skateboarding isn’t hierarchical - it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a professional, a child or an adult. Skateboarding is fun for all ages.
• Skateboarding teaches self-discipline, determination and respect for others, whilst promoting health and wellbeing.
• Through skateboarding an individual is able to create a stronger sense of self worth and social identity. Alongside this, skateboarding as a group activity contributes to a shared sense of ownership of space.
• Skateparks provide a safe environment for young people to practise and creatively express themselves without obstructing others. This is gives parents peace of mind, knowing that their children are playing somewhere safe and secure.
• Skateparks create positive and vibrant community hubs for all members of society.
Thank you in advance for anything you can spare and for supporting this cause!