Skateboarding for Street Kids
There is so much more to this community outreach than skateboarding – but skateboarding definitely is the bulk of the fun!
Fabrice built this skatepark in Goma as a way to create a SAFE SPACE for young people. A place of acceptance and community, this skatepark has become a way for youth to burn their energy in a positive way while they achieve higher levels of positive mental health through mentorship and friendships with their fellow skateboarders.
As young boys and men living in poverty, it is extremely easy for anyone to be tempted by the darker side of life in the Congo. Their hurts, anger and frustrations have plenty of negative outlets for them to try. This skatepark provides a healthy, fun and joyful atmosphere that allows the youth to do something truly good with their time and process life while they are at it, with a strong support network and human connection full of empathy towards their difficult circumstances.
Mentoring through sports
It is generally a well known fact that sports impact mental health in a plethora of ways. For example: According to Beyond Blue, the community environment that sports create helps fast-track friendships; creates a support network that you otherwise may not have; in general provides a space of human connection. It has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression (it has been claimed that physical exercise is more effective than taking antidepressants). It can help teach how to deal with setbacks, all while promoting better sleep (Beyondblue.org.au).
To sum it up, mentoring gives a stronger sense of identity and an ability to navigate the complex problems that life presents because you are not alone!
Provide a safe environment
In the future we want to expand this safe environment beyond the facilities of a skatepark. We are currently looking for solutions for these street kids to also live in a secure environment where they are taken care of 24/7 and have access to education. To make this dream become reality, we need your support!