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Skateistan, the award-winning non-profit organization that uses skateboarding and education for youth empowerment, has officially launched the Skate School in Johannesburg, which opened to registered students on August 1st. This is Skateistan's fourth facility; the organization already runs programs at Skate Schools in Afghanistan and Cambodia. Currently, they reach more than 1 500 at-risk youth aged 5-17 each week around the world. Since 2014, Skateistan has been active in Johannesburg running sessions at Outreach locations and with partner organizations.

Through this new Skate School, Skateistan will provide programs to more youth in the Central Business District (CBD) area of Johannesburg, South Africa.

This new permanent Skate School will be a safe space for local youth, with a particular focus on girls and low-income youth. Students will have the opportunity to play and learn as part of the Skate and Create program, or access homework help and career advice as part of the Back-To-School program. Exceptional youth will have the chance to join the Youth Leadership program to help organize events and assist with sessions.

Thanks to the support of Royal Danish Embassy, Comic Relief and Tony Hawk Foundation, Skateistan will offer weekly programs to over 300 registered students in 2016, and more than 400 by the end of 2017.

The new Skate School is on a piece of land in New Doornfontein provided by Propertuity. Construction of the state-of-the-art facility was made possible thanks to a large donation from The Skateroom and artist Paul McCarthy, with a contribution from LinkedIn. Afrisam donated the concrete for the 500 square meter skatepark which was built by New Line Skateparks who came over from Vancouver to work alongside local builders JLVA. The shipping container classrooms and office were brought together thanks to in-kind donations from MWP architects, Maersk, CTM, Big Box and Saint-Gobain.

Saint-Gobain Gyproc, the world's most innovative building materials, systems and solutions company, sponsored top quality walls and ceilings for the classrooms and offices. Apart from attributes related to efficiency and sustainability, Saint-Gobain believes that its building materials create an environment that is safer, more comfortable, healthier and generally more attractive than conventional building materials.

Improved and more comfortable learning spaces contribute to better learning environments, whereby learners and teachers can perform optimally. Saint-Gobain has created a better learning environment at Skateistan South Africa as follows:

Thermal comfort: Comfortable temperature, warm in winter and cool in summer
Acoustic comfort: Noise reduction and improved acoustics
Visual comfort: Good light and reduced glare, improves visibility and looks good
Health: Materials improve air quality, which means less illness and improved wellbeing

Saint-Gobain has documented the construction process at

The educational fit-out of the classrooms is being supported by the Canadian Embassy in South Africa. This unique structure, designed by Michael Scott, will be the regional base for Skateistan on the African continent.

The Skate School opened to registered students on August 1st and has begun running programs. Skateistan held the official launch for the Skate School on Sunday the 14th of August, at which they welcomed over 400 special guests and supporters, including Tony Hawk, international pro skateboarding professional and global Skateistan Ambassador.

More About Skateistan

Skateistan is an award-winning international non-profit organization that empowers youth through skateboarding and education. Over 1500 at-risk youth attend Skateistan's programs every week in Afghanistan, Cambodia and

South Africa. Through innovative programs such as Skate and Create, Back-to-School and Youth Leadership, Skateistan aims to give youth the opportunity to become leaders for a better world.

Find out more about SKATEISTAN

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