Thursday, October 25, 2012

Geogstory 2

Image above: A rainbow over Australian Rules Football at the MCG.

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Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
'Towards a National Geography Curriculum' project website
Geography Teachers' Association of South Australia website
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Perth, Australia: S: 31º 57' E: 115º 52'

The Geogstory of Skateistan

In a previous Spatialworlds blog posting titled 'Geogstory' it was suggested that:

"History is full of stories and is an integral part of engaging history teaching but as geography teachers we also tell stories to engage (even if our holiday adventures). Maybe we should call it Geogstory to encourage teachers to tell geographical stories to engage and elucidate the geography they teach. Not just to tell stories but use stories to encourage geographical thinking." 

As a follow-up to this thinking on the power of Geogstories, I thought a recent initiative in Afghanistan called Skateistan provided a great potential Geogstory to engage students in the geographical study of that troubled place.

Skateistan began as a Kabul-based Afghan NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) and is now an International non-profit charity providing skateboarding and educational programming in Afghanistan, Cambodia and Pakistan. Skateistan is non-political, independent, and inclusive of all ethnicities, religions and social backgrounds.
Skateistans goal is to always be a unique social project with quality.

  • work with youth ages 5-18.
  • have over 50% of their students are streetworking children.
  • say that early 40% of their students are girls.
Skateistan set out to use skateboarding as a tool for empowerment by:
  • providing acces to education
  • focusing especially on girls and working children
  • developing leadership opportunties
  • building friendship, trust, and social capital.
Skatiestan the movie

As soon as Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich dropped his board in Kabul in 2007, he was surrounded by the eager faces of children of all ages who wanted to be shown how to skate. Stretching out the three boards he and a former girlfriend/aidworker had brought with them, "Ollie" began dedicating himself to the creation of a small skateschool in Afghanistan.

Current Projects

Just a small idea but one that can and has made a difference to so many in such troubled places. Watch the video made in January 2010 by a group of people who wanted to make Kabul a better place for the kids - and it grew from there. Very inspiring and this story provides a wonderful opportunity to create a Geogstory containing some rich cultural, political, environmental and social geography.

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