The Concrete Jungle Foundation
Skateboarding means a lot to all of us. Skateboarding is a tool we all utilise to relieve our stresses and anxieties, release our creative mind-sets and make long-lasting bonds with like-minded individuals. However, most of the people reading this (myself included) are inherently privileged with regards to skateboarding opportunities. Whilst London may be miserable (it rained nearly everyday in May) and our skateparks may not be the greatest, compared to some areas of the world, London is a utopia for skateboarding prowess. The Concrete Jungle foundation was set up with the goal of bringing the joys of skateboarding to areas of the world deprived of the means to properly do so. The Foundation is a non-profit organisation that builds skateparks and provides youth programmes to disadvantaged communities across the world. The foundation is active in Angola, Peru and Jamaica. The foundation’s core mission is to empower individuals and communities across the globe through fostering and sustaining the positive values intrinsically linked to skateboarding.
In practise, the foundation runs on a full cycle model. This cycle begins with the Concrete Jungle Foundation building a skatepark in a disadvantaged location. They then offer paid construction apprenticeships programs to local skaters to keep the construction of the project in the hands of the local people. They then go onto then train and hire local staff to maintain and support the skatepark. This is accompanied by the foundation providing homework programs, edu-skate opportunities and community activities and contests to local people interested in the opportunities the project has on offer. This occurs over a 3-5 year period of impact and local capacity development which concludes with the handing over of the ownership of the project to local skateboarders.
Since 2017, the growth of the foundation has been phenomenal. Their first project in Peru was on a budget of $10,000. The first Peruvian project has helped over 1150 people with 40% of that statistic identifying as female. The edu-skate programmes the foundation offers in Peru (and in their other locations) help to build and instil numerous positive virtues in children aged 6-16. These virtues include cooperative learning, resilience, courage, teamwork and respect amongst other things.
The budget of their Angolan project in 2018 rose to $30,000 (a 3x increase on their Peruvian budget) which has helped create a 750 square meter skatepark with a locally executed programme. Moreover, their Jamaican project that was completed in 2020 saw a 4x budget increase to $130,000. The Jamaican project has produced a 1300 square meter skatepark, edu-skate opportunities, planting seeds apprenticeships and much more. Their Jamaican project has reached over 2550 people with 30% of those impacted by the project being female. The foundation has even more ambitious goals in the near future to bring the joys of skateboarding to more people globally
The Concrete Jungle Foundation are set to build two brand new skateparks in northern Peru for August and September 2021. They wish to provide a safe-haven and social hub for hundreds of children in the Lobitos and Huanchaco regions of Peru. The project will supply free rental skateboards to locals, more edu-skate and planting seeds apprenticeship opportunities as well as a homework club in partnership with the Moomin Language school.
To donate to the Foundation, find out more information about their previous projects, get involved with the foundation or to simply check out some cool photos of kids ripping around the globe then check out the link below.
Also, check out the 20-minute video the foundation produced with Free Skate Mag about their Jamaican project and the impact it has had on the local community in Kingston.