The Goodpush Alliance: Sharing knowledge between social skate projects to boost refugee inclusion
Within the Goodpush community worldwide, there are several organizations that are using skateboarding as a tool for refugee integration and wellbeing:
- 7Hills (Jordan): Since 2016, this NGO has been providing skateboarding programs for Jordanian youth and refugees from Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Palestine and Iraq, amongst other nations, at a central public skatepark in Amman that they constructed. Their youth leadership program encourages promising youth from both Jordanian and refugee backgrounds to become mentors and coaches
- Free Movement Skateboarding (Greece): Since 2017, Free Movement Skateboarding has been providing skateboarding and life-skills workshops at various locations in Athens, including in/near refugee accommodation. They run up to nine sessions a week, including a dedicated Women’s Program and teaching people of 18 different nationalities with 44% women’s participation overall
- Stockholm Skate Nation (Sweden): This organization started informally with local skaters inviting unaccompanied minor refugees to learn to skateboard. Over the years, some of those early participants have now become coaches with the program, which continues to provide a fun way for new arrivals to have fun and make friends
- Drop In e.V. (Germany): Founded in 2015 as a response to the refugee influx to Germany, starting with skate camps and refugee integration assistance, this Berlin non-profit now provides a range of programs related to skateboarding, education and culture. Drop-in continues to prioritize refugee participation in all their activities
Through the Goodpush Alliance, we provide various online and offline platforms for social skateboarding projects worldwide to share their knowledge and experiences with each other, in order to achieve a greater collective impact and contribute to SDG 17 (partnership for the goals).
One example of this is the ROLL Models programme which Skateistan is running together with Women Win in 2020-2022, aimed at supporting womxn's leadership in skateboarding. Each year, 25 ROLL Models are selected across Europe, and this year, four of the ROLL Models will implement their own skateboarding projects that serve refugee girls and boys. One of these projects is called Joon Crew and is running at a major refugee reception centre in Belgium. This project is the brainchild of Ely Qias, an 18-year-old who is originally from Afghanistan, and first encountered skateboarding when she arrived in Greece as a refugee with her family. Ely was an early student of Free Movement, then became a volunteer coach. She has since moved to Belgium where she is now using her skills and experience to provide regular skateboard lessons to other refugee children. All of the ROLL Models will be coming together later this year to share their learnings, with inclusion being a key topic.