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Skateboarding and Social Transformation: A New Hope for Kya Sands

Kya Sands may be an informal settlement with high poverty and unemployment rates, but it is also a community full of untapped potential and endless possibilities. This is where the power of collaboration comes in and where Girls Skate South Africa (GSSA), Rare Bear Foundation, and Beauty from Ashes have come together to spark a positive change in the lives of the community members.


Through our joint efforts, we are building a skate park in Kya Sands and providing education and entrepreneurship opportunities to the community members. The Kya Sands skate park is not just a place for skateboarding; it stands as a symbol of hope, progress, and empowerment. In this article, we'll take a closer look at how this collaborative effort is empowering the Kya Sands community, particularly women and children, through education, entrepreneurship, and access to skateboarding.



Building Hope on Wheels: The Kya Sands Skate Park Story


The Kya Sands skate park stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation. The skate park was fully funded and constructed thanks to the proactive fundraising efforts of Chloe, Craig and supportive streamers who hosted a live stream that raised funds, and the generous sponsorship from The Unlimited.


Despite facing adversity such as cement theft, the team persevered and completed the park build, providing a space where the Kya Sands community can come together and enjoy the culture and excitement of skateboarding. With the addition of skateboards and safety gear, the park offers a safe and enjoyable space for all who visit. The Kya Sands skate park is not just a place to skate but a symbol of hope and possibility for the Kya Sands community.


Beauty From Ashes Africa's Mission and Initiatives


Beauty From Ashes Africa is on a mission to break the cycle of poverty through education and entrepreneurship. The initiative opens doors to education and vocational training while providing resources for nurturing small businesses. Beauty From Ashes Africa is located in the Kya Sands Informal settlement in the Randburg area. (ADRESS: plot 22 Clairvaux road, Inandan, Kya Sands)


The organization offers a variety of programs, including computer and sewing classes and other skills development courses. The ultimate goal? Empower the Kya Sands community to rise above poverty through skills development and quality education.


BFAA's youth program is a golden opportunity for young individuals to foster positive change within their communities. In addition, participants gain a stronger sense of self-discipline, time management, and valuable insights into the diverse roles adults play while exploring varied career paths.


Moreover, engaging in meaningful activities like skating, computer courses, sports, and reading clubs can boost their community status and nurture a sense of belonging. This can lead to improved mental health and a deeper sense of purpose.



A Game-Changing Partnership: Rare Bear Project and Beauty From Ashes


The #RareBearProject is a remarkable community upliftment initiative, operating under the umbrella of Rare Diseases South Africa NPC. Its mission is dual-pronged: providing support to 'rare' families and creating job opportunities for the women of Kya Sands. The project's unique business model ensures that 100% of the income is reinvested into the program. For every donation of R180, R120 is paid directly to the bear's creator, offering a sustainable income source, while the remaining R60 is allocated to enhance the project's marketing and distribution platforms, ensuring the project's long-term sustainability. Ultimately, this initiative not only uplifts the community but also aids Rare Diseases South Africa in its goal to enhance the quality of life for patients with rare diseases.


The partnership between Rare Bear Project and Beauty From Ashes has truly been a game-changer for the women of the Kya Sands community. With a focus on skills development and transfer, this collaboration has provided a unique opportunity for women to not only acquire new skills but also to use them to create a positive impact in their communities.


By delivering a sustainable business model, these women now have the means to earn a living and support their families, transforming their lives.




Empowering Girls Through Skateboarding with Girls Skate South Africa


Skateboarding has proven to be a powerful tool in empowering the Kya Sands community, particularly young girls, as seen through the work of Girls Skate South Africa. By offering skateboarding sessions, GSSA has helped these girls learn new skills, build their self-confidence, and feel a sense of community. This initiative has faced some challenges, but the commitment of the organizations involved in empowering girls through skateboarding remains strong.


The impact of creating the skate park and providing safety gear skateboards has been immense for the women and children in the community who face challenges such as poverty and domestic violence. The skate park has allowed youth to stay physically active, which has kept them away from substance abuse and teenage pregnancy. Moreover, the park provides a safe environment for women and children in the community to come and have fun. With no parks or chill areas in the Kya Sands area, this initiative provides a much-needed escape from the hardship of living in informal settlements.


Furthermore, the mental health and social well-being of the women and children in the community have improved significantly through the skateboarding sessions. Attendants are happier, free, and eager to try new things, no matter how challenging it may seem. Watching them have so much fun and forget about their daily struggles has been a joy for all involved. The empowerment brought about by this initiative provides a sense of hope for the future of the Kya Sands community.





Take Action: Be a Part of the Change


This project is truly a testament to unity in action. Together, we are making a difference by creating a safe space for skateboarding, providing quality education, and fostering entrepreneurship.


But the journey doesn't end here. We invite you to be a part of this transformative journey. Whether it's by making a donation, volunteering your time, or spreading the word about our work, your support can make a significant difference in the lives of the Kya Sands community members.


Remember, no action is too small when it comes to creating a positive impact.


Written by Chantal Graaf


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