First Skate Park in Palestine opens for youth at SOS Children’s Village – Bethlehem
On 16 March 2015, the grand opening of the first skate park in Palestine took place at SOS Children’s Villages – Palestine. Building of the skate park was realized in cooperation between Skate-Aid, SOS Children’s Villages Worldwide and Deutsche Post/DHL and made possible by generous private donations from Germany. It aims to give kids an activity to release themselves from the pressures of daily life in Palestine and also to build a sense of community.
“In a country where children are walled in, skateboarding gives freedom. For children growing up without parental care, skateboarding teaches focus and determination; skills for a lifetime. Skateboarding also builds a community of support and friendship,” remarked Dr. Wilfried Vyslozil of SOS Children’s Villages Worldwide who spoke at the opening.
The new skate park is located on the premises of SOS Children’s Village – Bethlehem. An experienced team from Skate-Aid was responsible for construction, which began last November. Titus Dittman, founder of Skate-Aid, also attended the opening ceremony. He firmly believes that skateboarding is meaningful and helpful in shaping the character of youths: one falls down, hurts himself, gets up and tries again.
Youth at SOS Children’s Village Bethlehem participated in a two-day training in fall 2014, where they learned how to skateboard and volunteers from Skate Aid conducted a series of trainings and lessons for SOS children, youth, and members of the community throughout 2015.