The lack of recreational facilities for children and young adults in Ondangwa leaves them to wander the streets and/or be up to no good.
Enthusiastic skateboarder and teacher by profession Michael Penda Kagola (24) wants to change this.
His big dream is to have a skate park to keep children off the streets.
“The main aim is to empower children through skateboarding and using skateboarding as a pedagogical method,” Kagola told Youth Corner.
He already has land for the skate park.
“I have land that my father gave me – big enough to build a skate park that will accommodate more than 100 skaters at once. My father noticed my passion and consistency in the sport, so he gave me a place to start a skate park project and empower children through skateboarding.”
Kagola, however, needs materials required to build the skate park, including cement, concrete stones, metals for reinforcements of the floor, and metal bars for grinding and sliding on with a skateboard and handrails.
“I have a team with concrete work experience ready to build this park. I would really appreciate donations to make this project a success. With your support/donation, we can build a better Namibia with good, athletic, skilled children in this Olympic-recognised sport.”
He started skating nine years ago, and remembers how the hostel matrons would chase him away or confiscate his skateboard whenever he skated at the hostel.
The fact that years later, there still is no place for him to skate without upsetting anyone motivated him to initiate this idea.
“As years went by, my skateboarding had people randomly asking me to either show them a trick or teach them how to do the trick. So, I started volunteering at the Namibian Institute of Special Education in Khomasdal, teaching children how to skate at the Skate-aid skate park there.”
Kagola said his mandate was to incorporate skateboarding into education, encourage inclusiveness among children, use skateboarding as a pedagogical method, and to empower children.
“Regardless children’s disabilities at the skate park, there’s no discrimination happening, and it has been like that ever since I started volunteering at that after-school project in February this year.”
He said more than 200 children show up at that skate park every day, but the space is too small for all of them at once.