African Design Magazine July 2016 - Page 26

ADDIS SKATEPA Skateboarding is a huge global industry, but there are still places in the world that haven’t really been touched by ollies, kickflips and 50-50s to any meaningful degree. In Ethiopia, there isn’t even a skate shop where kids can buy boards or wheels, however, this has not stopped a small group of skaters from doing their best to keep the flame burning. Recently, a group called Make Life Skate Life decided that Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa needed a skatepark. I n April 2016, Make Life Skate Life and Ethiopia Skate constructed Addis Skatepark to provide the youth of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with a free-of-charge, safe, and accessible place to skate. The 600m² concrete skatepark was built in three weeks by a team of 60 volunteer skatepark builders from over 20 countries who worked with local youth to teach them about concrete skatepark construction. The skatepark provides a space to inspire creativity and community togetherness through skateboarding, accommodating the growing demand for skateboarding in a safe place in Ethiopia. As the Make Life Skate Life NGO has done with a number of other projects around the world, a crowdfunding campaign was initiated to raise money for a park. They met their target in thirty days and then went looking for volunteers to help build the park. 26