JEAN JAQUES FOUNDATION : ) DISTRIBUTING SMILES
Skateboarders connect for a global social impact
WHAT IS THE FOUNDATION?
The Jean Jaques Foundation is an organization with an overall goal to make skateboarding accessible for everyone around the globe. We feel that it’s our duty to give less fortunate people the chance to stand on a skateboard, since skateboarding has such a powerful impact on them and can change their lives.
To facilitate this, the JJ Foundation will establish a network of skateboarders, social skateboarding projects, skatepark builders, the local community and the sponsors. You can call it skateholders, together we are strong and the foundation will enable the communication between these people.
Because we believe we can start a better world through skateboarding. Everyone is equal on a skateboard and through this comes mutual understanding. We love the same thing but express it in soo many different ways. Skateboarding is self expression, it is a very personal thing yet brings people together from all walks of life, develops compassion and hope. You can find skateboarders everywhere around the globe, no matter who or what, with at least one thing in common. And that is enough to build friendships that last a lifetime.
Unfortunately, in some places it is not so obvious to even find a skateboard. Our goal is to bring skateboarding to these places, where kids deserve a better outlook on life, a community, a creative space. The places where governments will not help, but your community will.
Because of skateboarding and the strength this community has, numerous skateparks have been built in over 30 countries in the past 10 years. These seeds for flourishing skateboarding communities have been planted and like all of us they need water.
There are so many heartwarming social skate projects bringing skateboarding to the most disadvantaged communities, making it possible to change their lives in a positive and physically active way but there is a lack of support for these social skate projects.
The Jean Jaques Foundation wants to support skateboarding where it is most needed and create opportunities for people to grow and develop through skateboarding. It’s time to connect the dots and establish a healthy flow of opportunities for everyone involved. Social skateboarding projects need our support and through helping them, we help our community and therefore ourselves. Self help doesn’t need to be selfish.
We want to create a community where everybody can become a member and support these projects worldwide. If you are a builder, a sponsor, a skateboard teacher or an English teacher. The Foundation will connect the right people with the right project. Everybody wants to be part of something. The Foundation could be an easy way to become part of something good, create social awareness and unity through skateboarding.
The JJ Foundation will support projects and skateparks that already exist. As mentioned above, there are quite some organizations that build skateparks. These require a follow up program containing skateboards and materials, skate classes and teachers, transportation and supervision, to name a few. By gathering a lot of people, the efforts will be minimal to support these communities and make a change.
The JJ foundation will support building new skateparks and extending existing skateparks. Our family has of a good number of builders who are experienced with constructing skateparks in Europe as well as abroad. Make Life Skate Life is one of the organisations we work with as well as some professional skatepark building companies. As a platform for communication , local communities can contact us with their plans and needs. We can provide the necessities by contacting our comminity. Get builders in the right place, come up with funding and keep the park rolling.
WHERE TO BEGIN
The first projects we chose to support are 7Hills Jordan and Kovalam India.
7Hills has been built by us and Make Life Skate Life in 2014 and has been thriving since.
Kovalam is a school in South India that has been running a growing skateboard program since 2014.
Here is a short 7Hills and Kovalam introduction.
7HILLS SKATEPARK, AMMAN, JORDAN.
7Hills is a skateboarding driven, non-profit that rolls in Amman, Jordan. 7Hills unites local and refugee youth through skateboarding philosophy. In 2014 Makelifeskatelife, Philadelphia skateboards and the municipality constructed the 7Hills skatepark in downtown, Amman.
For the past 50 years Jordan has been a safe haven for refugees from neighbouring countries. Today, there are 57 nationalities living 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.
Since October 2016 we have been running a free skateboarding program for local and refugee youth at the park. We run skate classes, loaner sessions, a skateboard library, a leadership program and an outreach platform. What we do basically is, offering free of charge skate classes and loaner skateboards for boys and girls from different walks of life, with an extra focus on lower socio-economic classes and refugees. We currently run skate classes for 150 girls and boys of seven different nationalities each week. We create opportunities for underserved youth to pick up skateboarding, create an outlet and learn the many things that skateboarding taught us.
KOVALAM SKATE CLUB, KERALA, INDIA.
Kovalam Skate Club is a social skateboarding program with around 40 dedicated young skateboarders between 5 and 17 years old, all from families living Below Poverty Line.
Providing free skateboard lessons every day as an addition to the Free Second Chance Educational program of Sebastian Indian Social Projects, short SISP, has an immense impact on the motivation of the children in the program to attend school. Children participating in SISP are school drop-outs who instead of attending the public school went to help and work with their families or got involved with street gangs. SISP gives them a second chance for their educational development and tries to reintegrate them into the school system.
Kovalam Skate Club gives the children the opportunity to get free skateboard lessons after school in the small skatepark built right at the school facility, provides the necessary motivation for many to come to school every day. Yet it is not only the fun and exercise that the kids love about just grabbing a board and roll, skateboarding is also something they can be passionate about, be in the moment, and grow as a person. It also teaches them important values like being in a team, or to try again after you fall, which make them grow as individuals. In this way we not only hope to grow skateboarding in India but to create social and economic change and a better future for the kids!