Pictures by Ayden Stoefen
With some two weeks until the construction of Kingston’s first skatepark begins, Concrete Jungle Foundation is thrilled to unveil our new development initiative: The Planting Seeds Apprenticeship Programme – the first rendition of which will be implemented during the build in partnership with Flipping Youth and New Line Skateparks!
All images by Ayden Stoefen and Flipping Youth.
The Planting Seeds Apprenticeship Programme will provide hands-on training to disadvantaged young adults in job-specific, entrepreneurial and digital skills in the form of paid apprenticeships. Targeted skill areas include skatepark construction (bricklaying, concrete and carpentry), filming, photography and editing, event planning, budgeting and management, brand creation and monetization, and more. Stipends for beneficiaries are calculated based on local salary conditions.
The programme intends to support local skateboarders at CJF’s project locations that are in need of employable skills and show passion and determination for using skateboarding as a tool for positive personal and communal development. The number of participants per apprenticeship will depend on project location, employable skill targeted, programme partnerships, as well as budgetary and resource constraints.
Complementing in-house and global development initiatives
The Planting Seeds Apprenticeship Programme will extend the work that CJF does to not only focus on children aged but also skateboarding adolescent youth. While the Edu-Skate Programme for children focuses on personal development and life skills such as confidence-building, creativity, social relatedness and nurturing a positive mental attitude, this young adult-focused programme will focus on providing employable hard skills.
The programme is also designed to directly complement international initiatives under the auspices of the UN development goals. Rapidly changing labour markets means that adolescents in developing countries entering employment today are faced with unprecedented challenges, and non-state actors have an important role to play in alleviating these. This is why the focus and structure of the Planting Seeds Apprenticeship Programme is derived directly from the UN’s recommendations on how to address this challenge: by focusing on providing jobs-specific, digital and entrepreneurial skills to young adults, and to realise this through apprenticeships and partnerships.
Paid opportunity to learn
Experience from our previous projects have taught us that it is extremely hard for disadvantaged young skateboarders to dedicate themselves to self-development or community engagement projects without being provided the means to sustain themselves or their families while doing so. In Angola, for example, while it was clear that all parties were very dedicated to both developing personal skill sets as well as contributing to the community, it often proved impossible for the local skateboarders to do so due to financial insecurity. The Planting Seeds Programme seeks to address this problem, by providing paid apprenticeship positions for beneficiaries that are in need of employable skills and show passion and determination for using skateboarding as a tool for positive personal and communal development.
Given the socio-economic conditions (typical salary rates) in the countries that we work, The Planting Seeds Programme can provide professional training opportunities with relatively small stipends (costs). In Jamaica, for example, a young adult entering the job market can expect to earn some $300 per month. By providing a stipend of the same amount, we can provide dedicated young adults with both practical and theoretical expert-led training in a field they are passionate about, food and water for the entire month, an unforgettable experience, as well as a new group of international friends for a lifetime.
First implementation: Skatepark construction in Kingston, Jamaica
The first rendition of the Planting Seeds Apprenticeship Programme will focus on skatepark construction skills and will be implemented in partnership with New Line Skateparks and Flipping Youth during the construction of the Freedom Skatepark in Kingston, Jamaica, between March 1 – April 1.
During the 4-week programme, six skateboarders and BMXers from the Kingston area will shadow our professional skatepark builders while also working as a group to plan, budget, source materials for and ultimately construct their own skate obstacle at the Gully DIY. Construction skills provided to beneficiaries encompass universally sought-after proficiencies in budgeting, planning, coordination, design work, foundation-laying, wood forming, bricklaying and concrete shaping.
21-year old skater Kayla Wheeler is one of the six beneficiaries to take part in the Skatepark Construction Apprenticeship Programme.
Throughout the programme our beneficiaries will work along-side professional builders, have weekly evaluation meetings and presentations on the skatepark construction process, as well as receive guidance and feedback on progress made towards building their own obstacle. Main topics will also be covered in a CJF-produced construction manual to be handed out to participants for future reference.
Upon completion of the 4-week apprenticeship programme, beneficiaries will also receive a formal diploma certifying ‘employment readiness’ by Jamaica’s HEART Trust/NTA* and post-apprenticeship support and guidance for seeking employment and/or engaging in entrepreneurship in the field through our partnership with Flipping Youth.
*Jamaica’s Human Employment and Resource Training Trust/National Training Agency (www.heart-nta.org).
How you can help
Nothing worth doing comes easy, and free apprenticeship programmes for worthy adolescents is no different.
But you can help.
By donating 5€ or more a month you can join the CJFamily, get -25% off everything in our online shop, receive a number of annual gifts, and help dozens of children and young adults around the world become better versions of themselves – on and off the board.
Join CJFam today!
Thanks for helping us spread the positive seeds of skateboarding.
- CJF Crew