On February 9, Filmmakers Elena Andreicheva and Carol Dysinger won the Oscar for the Best Documentary (Short Subject) in Los Angeles, USA. The documentary Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone! (If You're a Girl) celebrates the work done by international charity Skateistan, also recognized in the HundrED 2019 Global Collection for its inspiring and impactful work in K12 education.
Skateistan's purpose is to empower children and youth in conflict-affected and fragile states, where education and recreation opportunities are compromised. Through their work, they have been able to engage with children through Skateboarding because it is accessible to all, satisfyingly challenging and has the ability to unite people from different backgrounds. Through the nature of skateboarding the skater continuously learns to set goals and conquer his or her personal fear. As a result, each success builds confidence, raises self-esteem and improves decision-making skills.
Skateistan's programs are designed to drive the curiosity of children and their eagerness to learn through combining classroom and arts-based curriculum with Skateboarding lessons. Through their programs: 'Skate & Create' 'Back-to-School' and 'Youth leadership', Skateistan provides opportunities for children to learn in a supportive environment and to tackle complex problems in their own lives and their local communities. For many children who have been through traumatic life experiences, attending Skateistan's programs can be a chance to simply learn through play and forget about the stress of everyday life.
Skateistan's executive director Oliver Percovich told the AFP news agency that "the story of a group of girls who are defying expectations" had gotten the recognition it deserved.
"We see so many negative stories about Afghanistan and this is a story of real hope which can help to challenge perceptions", says Percovich
A big congratulations to Elena Andreicheva, Carol Dysinger, Oliver Percovich and the global Skateistan team for receiving this incredible recognition! If you interested in learning more about the program, check our their innovation page!