JORDAN, A SAFE HAVEN FOR CHILDREN, YOUTH AND ADULTS OF NEIGBOURING COUNTRIES
Jordan hosts a multitude of refugees from neighbouring countries. Today, there are 57 nationalities present in Jordan. It is one of the top 10 countries to host the largest number of refugees in the world.
Although more than 70% of the population in Amman is younger than 30, there is an immense lack of public spaces and free recreational outlets available for the youth in the city of Amman. Most recreational spaces tend to be private or residential. Safe spaces that are also child-friendly, are almost entirely inaccessible to refugees and those living within the lower socioeconomic class.
ABANDONED AREA FILLED WITH TRASH TRANSFORMS INTO A 650 M² SKATEPARK
$ 20,000 RAISED IN A CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN FOR THE FIRST PUBLIC SKATEPARK IN JORDAN
In response to the scarcity of safe public spaces, in 2014 Make Life Skate Life, Philadelphia Skateboards, and the Greater Amman Municipality established a community building project. After raising over $20,000 in an online crowd funding campaign, the 7Hills team began construction in the area allocated by the Amman Municipality, in downtown Amman.
A group of international and local volunteers constructed 7Hills skatepark. In less than three weeks, an abandoned area filled with garbage and dirt was transformed to a 650 m² concrete skatepark. During the 18-days build, professional skatepark builders worked with local youth to teach them the craftsmanship of concrete skatepark construction.
2016, A NEWLY LAUNCHED SKATEBOARD PROGRAM FOR DISADVANTAGED YOUTH
Between 2014 - 2016, the skatepark did not attract many visitors due to lack of funding and community outreach. The country is characterized by many socioeconomic classes both within the Jordanian population and the growing refugee community.
To counter this issue, in October 2016, 7Hills launched a skate program for local and refugee youth. The ongoing program, is currently still active, and includes weekly skateboard classes, a loaner system, a leadership program and an outreach platform. 7Hills provides a secure space for people from all walks of life. It offers a lifelong tool - skateboarding, to defeat gender, racial, religious or cultural inequalities. 7Hills tries to reach the most vulnerable groups in the area and provides them with a platform for personal development, empowerment and social interaction.