What is it that we aim for?
There are multiple reasons to our shared interest in this development project. Importantly enough, being MA students of African Studies at the University of Copenhagen, we need to conduct a fieldwork as a part of our degree.
That gave us teh incentive to develop a sustainable project that aims on children and uses skateboarding as a tool. Both Africa and skateboarding are close to our hearts so we did not go far for the inspiration.
Skateboarding, events and education
Skateboarding as a tool
The concrete skateparks will consist of all kinds of obstacles, varying from curbs, rails, banks to transitions and open space for practicing flat ground tricks.
When finished our partnering organizations, namely Maputo-Skate and ASM will facilitate regular skateboard lectures with the support of other local organizations.
The goal of the project is to make a small but significant impact on the lives of children in Maputo and offer them a playful and creative way to learn and make friendships.
Exhibitions of all kinds
The very walls of both skateparks will serve as an open canvas to artists and kids who wish to try new techniques of painting.
The contiguous youth centers will provide a safe zone for hosting video premieres, concerts, workshops, photo or art exhibitions.
The center will also host regular skateboard demos of skaters coming from all over the world!
Learning through play
Having the opportunity to connect education with games and joyful activities, we have decided to launch partnership scheme with an NGO operating in Maputo, that would regularly hold seminars in the Maxaquene youth centre.
Since our arrival to Maputo, we have been regularly organizing events with S.O.S. children's village and we are about to finalize the official agreement with them!
To link up the construction with an academic field three research perspectives will be developed.
These project will vary in specificity but will be centered upon the challenges faced by the youth in Maputo.
The outcome of this research will be made open source so that further research can be conducted along these lines and provide new insights into the youth culture in Maputo.
I intend to research the dynamics surrounding international partnerships. This will focus specifically on organisations from the global north which will be working with Southern African nations such as Mozambique. My research will also include themes of power within development aid projects.
My intention is to use the daily interactions, complications and interventions of both, people from around the construction and the very workers for evaluation of how is this project regarded. For that I wanted to primarily use interviews with people from around the neighbourhood, where a set of fixed questions will be prepared. Moreover, I would prepare another set of questions for the participants, where I would like to observe their subjective feeling about the situation in which they operate. Ultimately, any complication or obstacles beyond standard that may occur would be analysed and taken into an account in order to answer the question: What are the differences in dynamics between different groups of local people (social, age, ethnic, religious) and the international community (volunteers,
established organizations, sponsors and journalists) that participate in development projects?
For my research, I want to broadly analyze class formation within the neighborhoods of Maputo. Like many other African cities, Maputo is rapidly developing it urban space. We most often think of urbanization in terms of building and infrastructure projects. However, there are other factors, which influence how cities develop on the continent.
One of these factors is rural to urban migration. For my research, I am investigating how class is personified within neighborhoods of high level rural to urban migration. I will compare the neighborhoods of, Mafalala and Maxaquene B to see how class is formed and personified in barrios with high levels of migration.
Let's see how it looks
See what people that helped us to work on this project have to say.
We need a place to skate
For many years we have been trying to get some support from the government to help us build a public skatepark, but our voices were never listened to.
Maputo is developing fast so I really think it is the time to build a skatepark too. After all, it is a regular element in the city planning.
I am pretty excited for this to finally happen!
It brings me joy
My first experience volunteering for a skate NGO was in 2014 when I traveled to Jordan within my studies.
At that time, now a well-established organization Make Life Skate, was planning to build a skatepark for underprivileged children in the Jordanian capital, Amman, and I got the unique opportunity to be involved in the project.