Angola, the seventh-largest country in Africa, on the Western end of continent, is a country in flux. In its recent history, it has experienced conditions that are unfortunately not uncommon to many African nations. The 25 plus year civil war finally ended in 2002, but despite a period of rapid economic growth largely fuelled by the country’s rich oil reserves, the country has never quite recovered from the devastation. Inefficient management of resources, the fall of global oil prices, and a subsequent recession exacerbated already high levels of poverty.
How severe is the poverty? The country is currently struggling with an outbreak of yellow fever, a disease now seen as highly preventable, that is one of the worst cases the world has experienced in recent history.
By contrast, you might be surprised to learn that Angola’s capital, Luanda, is one of the most expensive cities in the world and has outranked New York City and San Francisco. The oil surge led to the development of high rises and an extremely wealthy upper class, but wealth distribution never occurred, and was further stymied by extreme rates of inflation. The prices of rent and food have only risen, widening the already significant gap between the rich and poor.
Despite, or due to, Angola’s legacy of inequality and corruption, the country has recently become a breeding ground for photographers, artists, and progressive thinkers who are mobilizing new generations for change.
This is where skateboarding comes in. Skateboarding is just one of many outlets for the country’s creative force to express itself. From its birth in California in the late 40s, skateboarding has only grown stronger as a weapon for youth to question, grow, and foster positive thinking in many parts of the world. We want to provide the tools that will make the difference here in Angola.
Tokyo 2020. Reaching the Olympic games would seem to be a distant dream. But these games will prove to make history with the long awaited introduction of skateboarding to the roster of sports. Born as an outlet for non-conforming youth to escape everyday rules and traditions, skateboarding has long been a misunderstood sport. Now it is being recognized by the most important sporting institute in the world. This is not a moment to mourn the loss of the sport’s rebellious nature, but rather embrace the fact that this is a real step forward in making it more accessible and giving a wider audience insight into its unique culture.
Angola has the very real opportunity to send athletes to Tokyo in 2020, and yes, to compete in skateboarding. Sending a team to represent the nation, one long-suffering but still hopeful, will be a tangible step for raising awareness of the sport and for giving Angola’s youth the opportunity to generate its own change, and a positive one for once. This is possible via a sport that promotes gender equality, healthy lifestyles, and creative thinking.
There is real determination and interest among the youth population, but these only take one so far. The lack of facilities to train is holding back the development of the sport. This is the current setback, but it’s also where we see the greatest opportunity.
CJF, ASU and New Line Skateparks will work towards building Angola’s first outdoor concrete skatepark in Campo Polivalente Vila Estoril. The objective, as always, will be to do so in a way that is environmentally friendly and gives back to the local community as a public space for youth to enjoy. The national team would be able to practice daily while inspiring other teenagers to try something new and develop their skills.
CJF is grateful for the opportunity to support and be part of the social change in Angola and we will be responsible for the funding and construction. The park will be designed by New Line Skateparks, a world-class Skatepark Design and Construction firm based in Canada. As with the previous CJF project, the idea will be to collect and re-purpose local resources and waste materials from the city surroundings, demonstrating to the community that common trash, can be transformed into something of beauty and purpose.
The total cost is estimated at $25,000 and will be funded through the trusted donation platform Generosity (10K) as well as major sponsors (15K) that share the same vision, that believe in social change through skateboarding, and that could support us making a difference in Angola.
Please get in touch to require a media/partnership kit and start collaborate together. Your help in any way is needed!
Concrete Jungle Foundation is proud to partner with the Angola Skateboarding Union (ASU) and New Line Skateparks to build the very first skatepark of Angola, which will be free and open to the public. We share the same belief that skateboarding can be a positive seed of influence for the development of Angola’s new age.
ANGOLA SKATEBOARDING UNION (ASU) is an organization for the youth of Angola. It aims to promote the benefits of active lifestyles and positive youth development achieved through the art of skateboarding. Currently, there are no public spaces for skateboarders in Angola. Juveniles often face threats via reprimands, or even arrest, when they try to find places to practice. Supporting local skateboarding is the best way forward to grow the Angola’s new age, as more and more individuals, both young and old, are beginning to embrace skateboarding. Encouraging the practice of this non-traditional sport by providing safe training facilities will promote the joy of skateboarding in Angola.
The New Line team is comprised of registered landscape architects, engineering experts, planning specialists and construction professionals who are passionate, active skateboarders. Their goal of “Building Skateboarding” inspires them to deliver cutting edge designs and authentic finished environments that empower youth and create a meaningful connection between skateboarders and the communities in which they live.