Getting Ahead in Gulu
It's not everyday that we can brag about successful shipments of equipment to Gulu, Uganda. In only one year, we have sent down two sets of skateboards (57) Bell Helmets (3), running shoes (12) and gear (100) all thanks to the partnership with Concordia University's CEED Concordia Program. The fact is that without these wonderful volunteers travelling to Gulu, Skateboards For Hope - Gulu would not exist. So you can imagine how grateful we all are that we have found a sustainable way to put smiles on the faces of now over 70 boys and girls.
As always, there will be plenty of people who believe that skateboarding is just a past-time, a waste of time or that it will somehow encourage hooliganism. It is so far from the truth that we feel compelled to share the stories of hope, courage and success of our new and old skateboarders (See our Facebook Pages).
For anyone who has just discovered our mission, we started over 12 years ago in Cuba and we have transported over 300 skateboards and equipment to youth on the island. We also started a skateboarding pilot project on Mohawk Territory, First Nations Reserve in Kanesatake, Quebec.
Following the success of both branches, we decided to take the opportunity to start a program in Gulu, Uganda because of the generosity of our Ambassador Magada Collins, who singlehandedly organized bi-weekly skate sessions in his community at Bromah Grounds. I remember when we Facebooked each other ( almost daily) when Collins was worried that skateboarding might be a hard sell. Boy, were we surprised when very quickly with only 3 skateboards the group of beginner skateboarders grew to 10 then 25 within a month. That first huge shipment of 26 skateboards in May 2015 made a significant difference in the success of the growing skateboarding community. Our second shipment shortened the waiting time to practice the sport in half. Now do the math, over 70 boys, several girls and even a Mother of a two year old, skateboarding weekly as a group with 56 skateboards all done in one year time lapse. Let's talk about progress!
Now is the time to figure out how to equip everyone safely with helmets and gear so that we can protect everyone and most importantly, stop the fears and negativity of those who do not understand the values of skateboarding.This is where it takes a village... So we really hope that "YOU" will feel compelled to help these children be safe and encourage more inclusiveness among their village peers. Skateboarding is a positive activity that has proven effects on confidence, self-esteem and perseverance. It also can battle depression and inspire youth to do better whether it be for their education, family life or their dreams to make a difference in their communities. Skateboards For Hope empowers youth worldwide using skateboarding as a tool to foster leadership, trust and collaboration.
LET'S SHRED TABOOS AND GIVE HOPE TO KIDS!