On Friday 17 August, the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation rolled out the first of a series of exciting Skate Clinics, as part of a new youth engagement project in Delft. On the day, more than 50 young children participated in the 3 hour clinic. Building from the ground up, the project has received valued support from two Delft community safety groups and two professional skate partner organisations, as well as from a group of young local skateboarding enthusiasts. The main goal of this project is to revitalise the abandoned and under-utilised Delft South skate ramp. By creating a positive and safe space for youth to congregate on a regular basis we hope to bring together young people from Delft and professional skateboarding mentors into a workshop context. SLF has approached the City of Cape Town with a concept on how this site can be reactivated. The event helped to showcase the possibilities of its redevelopment.
In the long term, this project forms part of a larger SLF initiative that aims to occupy and reactivate this neglected public space and ultimately create a community hub that is open, functional and safe.
At least 20 Neighbourhood Watch (NW) and Community Policing Forum (CPF) members representing areas across Delft supported the running of this event. SLF works according to a principle of co-creating outcomes with communities it actively engages and, as such, none of what the organisation does would be possible without community support, buy-in and participation. SLF has been working in the Delft community since 2010 and has developed meaningful relationships with a number of community leaders and organisations, such as those involved in this event.
Two extraordinary skate outreach teams supported us and gave willingly of their expertise and time to make this event a success. Founded in 2001 by professional skateboarder, Dallas Oberholzer, Indigo Youth Movement has been built into a multidimensional organization with Charl Jensel as its Operations Manager. They run skate camps for youth at risk, train skate coaches to upskill interested skate camp participants, and consult on the design and construction of skate-parks as well as building them.
20sk8 was founded and formed in 2011 by a group of skateboarders, Shuaib Philander, Bradley Henry and Toufeeq Raubenheimer, as a means to deal with the challenges they faced in their community in the Cape Flats around gangsterism and drugs. Recently, one of its members, Shuaib Philander, set up its social responsibility arm, The Institute for Skateboarding and Other Stuff, which is a free after-school youth development programme equipping youth with life skills through the medium of skateboarding.
SLF thanks the members of the Delft Safety Groups, Indigo Youth Movement and 20sk8 for their support and involvement in the event. Reactivating and occupying space requires a community of support to make it a success. None of this would have been possible without the help from these committed individuals. This initiative exemplified how, when a facilitated programme occurs in an unused public space, it becomes a more inclusive and safer place for everyone to be in.
SLF would like to continue running these clinics for the duration of 2018. But to do this we need your support. Please consider donating to our ‘Dis Lekker in Delft’ project to make this exciting opportunity a reality for the youth in Delft.